Capturing a nice slice Retailers have never had such a wide choice of ready to eat products targeting the lunchbox/takeaway market. Manufacturers are continually coming up with fresh ideas, new packaging and formats to capture a slice of this booming market. - Bestfoods says there's a huge sales opportunity for instant hot snacks in-store and is offering retailers its Pot Stop hot water dispenser so consumers can eat Pot Noodles on the spot within minutes of purchase. The company says impulse purchase accounts for more than 50% of Pot Noodle sales, yet instant hot snacks are often under-represented in-store. The counter top dispenser is already sited in more than 2,000 impulse outlets and has led to a 50% rise in Pot Noodle sales, according to the company, which is spending £12.6m promoting the brand this year. - Giving the salami stick snack market a much needed boost is Pork Farm Bowyers' new vibrantly packaged Extreme brand in three powerful flavours ­ BBQ, tikka and chilli. Its "savoury hit" message is reinforced by loud point of sale material, including counter displays and dump bins, to encourage impulse sales. - With the help of a microwave, filled jacket potatoes provide an instant and healthy snack meal. Bar Foods has a new range for the independent sector that has been successfully trialled in a major fuel chain's forecourt shops. Packed in colourful sleeves, the jackets are deep filled with broccoli, cauliflower and cheese; chilli con carne; and tuna and sweetcorn in a cheese sauce. Rsp for 300g is £2.25. - Key to a perfect lunchbox product is taste, ease of eating, price, packaging style and portion size, says Geo Adam, which has combined these features to create two triangular snack and dip packs. Its 10 cocktail sausages with Heinz Tomato Ketchup dip (rsp 99p) are popular with children and adults. Its five chicken tikka sticks and mango chutney (rsp £1.29) are finding a niche with adults. - Campina says long-life yogurt, such as its Fruit Basket range, is ideal for this market because it doesn't require refrigeration and reduces retailers' wastage by offering a longer sell-by date. Peach Melba and black cherry are new flavours and there are smaller tray sizes to increase stock movement. - Lenders Foods has developed a microwaveable fresh pot noodle designed to replace pot salads in the winter. It consists of a layer of pasta, noodles or rice, topped by fresh vegetables, a sauce sachet and a fork. Rsp is £1.60-1.99 for a 300g pot. - As children love "dunking and dipping", F Duerr & Sons is bringing out Duerr's Dips, a sweet ambient snack pack containing six finger biscuits and a choice of chocolate or strawberry flavour dip at rsp 49p. The company says they're a convenient, mess-free and fun way for children to eat jam and spreads as well as biscuits, which feature in more than half of all lunchboxes. - Sundora Foods says snack packs of dried fruits satisfy the needs of those looking for something sweet, convenient and healthy to finish off a lunchbox meal. Its new Frutti Max consists of soft-textured dried apple and comes in strawberry, fizzy orange, fizzy lemon and lime, fruits of the forest and toffee flavours to appeal to children. Rsp of the 25g foil sachets is 29p. - Florette has revamped elements of its Le Snack pot salad range, aimed at the lunchbox market. Salads now come with different in-pack dressing sachets, instead of a standard recipe, while the new bowl provides a clearer view of the contents. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}