Dolmio has deviated from its traditional bolognese sauce recipe with the launch of a chunky vegetable variant.

Masterfoods is extending its Dolmio range to appeal to busy mums with the launch of chunky bolognese sauces that promise the same ‘classic Italian taste’ but now crammed full of vegetables. Dolmio trade relations manager, Joy Marsden, explains: “We saw a gap in the market for a sauce that combines the convenience of our traditional ambient sauces with the fresh element of vegetables. According to TNS, 40% of all Bolognese meals cooked have vegetables added.” While the wet cooking sauces market is relatively flat overall with just a slight growth of 1% over the last year (AC Nielsen data April 2005), the Italian segment remains the key driver - with Dolmio the market leader, holding a 42% share of the £246m category. Dolmio has gained a 2% value share in Italian sauces over the last 12 months, and Marsden hopes the new range will continue to drive growth in the category. She comments: “We know from the brand’s growth in 2004 that Dolmio remains a popular and convenient option in this growing and competitive market. With the launch of chunky in 2005 we look forward to retailers maximising their profits with the new range.” Chunky bolognese sauces aim to appeal to the majority of UK consumers who are only prepared to spend an average 13 minutes preparing and cooking a meal.

Each 500g jar contains one serving of the recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetables, something which many busy mums and ‘time-starved cooks’ are finding hard to incorporate into everyday mealtimes, says Marsden. The range is backed by a weighty TV campaign featuring ‘Papa Dolmio’ to communicate the benefits of the range extension, along with press coverage and an in-store sampling campaign.

Dolmio chunky sauces are available in Mediterranean vegetables, onion & garlic, mushroom & courgette and sweet pepper flavours. Rrp is £1.69 each. Packaging features photographs of fresh vegetables to highlight the fresh element of the product. Marsden acknowledges that many c-stores are limited for space, and therefore advises retailers stock the roasted onion & garlic and Mediterranean vegetables variants first, followed by as many other chunky flavours as possible.