>>consumers and buyers give their views on the latest launches

From: Bigham’s

Bigham’s new eight-strong range of premium microwave meals contains raw ingredients and offers “a whole new experience you can’t get from conventional pre-cooked ready meals”.
Price: between £3.99 and £4.79 per 370-390g meal
Total score: 31/50

Consumer’s verdict
Issam Ismail, Hotel Managing director, 44, Purley, Sutton
The flavours of the two products I tasted, Haddock & Gruyère Mash and Thai Chicken, both appealed to me by name.

However, the packaging was rather uninspiring and as such the products would fail to catch my eye when shopping.

The Thai chicken smelled delicious but unfortunately the taste did not live up to the aroma.

The chicken pieces were chewy and all lumped together. However, the vegetables were very nice and surprisingly crunchy. The flavour was OK but nothing special.

I liked the Haddock & Gruyère Mash a lot more. It did not look as appetising as the Thai chicken but tasted miles better. I would probably buy the latter again.

Score: 16/25

Buyer’s verdict
Stewart waldie, buying controller, Nisa-today’s
Having cooked the two products we received, the Thai Chicken dish had an acceptable aroma and was a decent-sized single portion.

However, my perception of the haddock dish was that the portion of fish was very small and the consistency of the gruyère mashed potato was poor. This meal looked fairly bland and not very appetising.

The packaging design is dated and certainly does not reflect the premium price tag of between £3.99 to £4.79 for the range.

Having said that, I'm sure that the healthier option of a steamed dish along with the convenience of microwave cooking will appeal to busy, time-poor consumers who want something more substantial than a basic sandwich or ready meal.

Score: 15/25