US-based food group Simplot has launched a range of Asian meal kits in Australia in a bid to grab consumers’ attention in a fragmented category.

Five Tastes is a range of meal-kits, which comprises cooking sauces and pastes offering a “unami” mix of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savoury tastes. The range is available in five dishes: Pad Thai, Green Curry, Red Curry and Laksa.

Tara Lordsmith, marketing manager at Simplot, said the Five Tastes launch would drive growth in the category by inspiring Australians to cook more Asian meals at home more often.

“Our research told us that people are keen to cook Asian cuisine at home but find the Asian aisle confusing with so many unfamiliar brands. It’s highly fragmented with the top 30 percent of the category held by ten different brands so we identified an opportunity to take leadership with a distinctive, modern new brand.”

The launch will be supported by a “heavy” social media campaign as well as TV and print initiatives.

The new product is the latest innovation to be announced by Simplot in Australia. Earlier this month, Simplot claimed a “market first” in Australia with the launch of rice line to its Birds Eye Steam Fresh range.

However, Simplot is looking at shaking up its production base in Australia. It has warned two canned food factories could close. Some 325 jobs are at risk.