New Covent Garden Food Co. is backing its fresh soup range with its first national TV advertising campaign in the UK.

The GBP1.5m (US$2.1m) campaign will break in the Central TV region this month, prior to a national roll-out over the coming months.

The campaign will feature a 30-second commercial, which will be screened on ITV1, during GMTV and Channel Four.

The commercial focuses on "freshness", the company said today (2 February), and features the on-going 'soup of the month' programme behind the brand.

Nigel Parrott, New Covent Garden Group marketing director, said major FMCG brands should remain active and engage consumers during the current economic downturn.

"We are seizing the opportunity to create major stand-out for New Covent Garden, introducing new consumers to the brand at a time when consumers' desire for fresh food and healthy-eating is on the increase," he said.

The move to TV advertising follows New Covent Garden's sponsorship of ITV's Britain's Best Dish in 2008 and 2007.

New Covent Garden is also introducing two new soups, Spicy Parsnip and Creamy Butternut Squash, to its 600g core range this month.