The company has developed a range of risottos in 500g containers for two people (rsp: £1.99) that consumers can microwave in five minutes as a kind of “posh Pot Noodle”, according to Nigel Parrott, group marketing director at New Covent Garden. “People can sit there with a fork and eat it,” he said. “Lots of consumers like the idea of eating Pot Noodle-type products but want something better for them.”
The product comes in three variants - Slow Roasted Tomato & Herb, Chorizo Sausage & Chicken and Wild Mushroom & Parmesan - and will be going into Sainsbury this month in the fresh pasta sauce fixture. The product is targeted at 25 to 45-year-old consumers.
“We are trying to simplify risotto as people don’t understand what to do with it,” said Parrot. He added that it would meet consumer demand for healthy alternatives to pasta and sauce and ready meals.
The risottos are the latest move by New Covent Garden Food to make hearty foods more convenient. The company launched a ready made chilled porridge in October and plans to launch another convenient product in the autumn.
“The brand means more than soup,” said Parrott. “We are taking it and moving into things that are satisfying and warming, where we think the brand can add real value.”