Mars UK is expanding its popular Uncle Ben's and Dolmio lines this month with additions to its Express Rice, Risotto and Tastes of Italy sauce ranges.
Two new Express Rice varieties - Thai Curry, rice blended with green curry paste, peppers, onions and herbs, and Basmati & Thai - represent the first move by the microwaveable rice into Thai cuisine. "Thai food is the next big eating-in occasion," said marketing manager Wendy Wing.
The Uncle Ben's Risotto range has been extended with a Mediterranean vegetable line.
The Dolmio Taste of Sicily recipe contains sun-ripened tomatoes, basil and roasted garlic. A £2m marketing campaign, including television and press advertising, will support the full Tastes of Italy range this year.
Uncle Ben's Express Rice, sales of which stand at £90m, has an 80% share of the microwaveable rice category while sales of Tastes of Italy are at £1.5m, according to the company.