Stylish noodle bar chain Wagamama is expanding its presence in the UK by introducing the brand on retailers' shelves.
The Wagamama name is being used on six sauces and marinades, some of which are used in the restaurants, with the others being specially developed for retail.
Recipes include spicy chilli men stir-fry sauce, a bestselling dish in the restaurant; sticky hoisin, mustard & garlic marinade, which is taken from the company's popular cookbook; and a roasted sweet chilli dipping sauce, created by the restaurant's executive chef.
Sainsbury's will be the first to stock the range from 13 November but other multiples are expected to come on board in the new year, when further products are likely to be added.
Ben Johnson, marketing director at The Grocery Company, which helped develop the range and also markets the Nando's retail brand, said the new brand was unlike any other in the category because it targeted a younger, more affluent consumer than traditional stir-fry products. He said 89% of visitors to the Wagamama restaurants were ABC1 consumers and the brand would target these people in particular.
Wagamama was established in London's Bloomsbury in 1992 and has 67 restaurants worldwide, 46 of them in the UK. The company is valued at more than £100m and its UK restaurants are visited by 6.2 million people a year.
Johnson added that he expected the brand to do well throughout the UK, despite the chain's heavy bias toward the south of England. Some 27 of its restaurants are in the London area, with a further eight based around the south east and south west.
"There are two jobs to be done," he added. "The easier conversion is the 6.2 million customers who visit the restaurants each year, but we also want to attract people who haven't heard of the brand yet. The fame of Wagamama is spreading and awareness will grow across the country. "
Wagamama intends to open a further 12 restaurants in the UK next year.