A new range of hot paninis targeting more discerning snackers - and women in particular - is set to hit the UK next month. Ugo's Deli Café is produced by Kepak Convenience Foods, maker of the microwaveable Rustlers burgers, which dominate hot snacking. The newcomers were aimed at broadening the sector's appeal beyond men, said Peter Fazal, UK sales director. He described the move as the most important initiative in the hot snacking market since it was established eight years ago. "Our vision is to make hot snacking a destination category," he added. "But to do that it has to be more than just burgers and someone had to drive it forward. Ugo's, which will appeal to women and men, has a potential audience about twice that of Rustlers." Initially there will be two products in the range - chargrilled chicken with mozzarella and pesto (170g) and bacon, cheese and mustard mayonnaise (145g), both with an rsp of £2.29, and more options are in the pipeline. Listings have already been secured in Tesco, Somerfield and Co-op stores. The wrapper was a key element because it enabled the bread to stay crispy in the microwave, said Fazal. He predicted the products would help the UK £104m hot snacking category double in value in five years. "Busy consumers, bored with sandwiches, want an alternative," he said. "Ugo's Deli Café provides a delicious hot snack, made with authentic panini bread, in the traditional Italian way, and stone baked with olive oil. The range offers convenience without compromising on quality or taste. "Paninis are one of the success stories in foodservice and we're planning to emulate that in retail." National marketing support for the September launch will include press and online advertising as well as in-store activity such as sampling and price promotions. The marketing campaign would kick off at the same time as the launch, said Fazal, adding that Kepak was keen to secure dual siting next to chilled ready meals and sandwiches.