The founder of new UK children's ready meals business Mini Nom Noms is eyeing international listings.
Mini Nom Noms develops ethnic dishes targeted at kids. The meals, which include an Indian Tiny Tiffin jewelled lamb biryani, are sold in multi-compartment packaging to encourage children to mix their food.
Ocado will be the first UK grocer to stock the Mini Nom Noms range in May. Lisa Sohanpal, the company's founder and MD, said the company was in "final negotiations with many other retail chains" but declined to name them. She said she expected another UK listing by the end of the year.
However, speaking to just-food at the IFE trade show in London, Sohanpal revealed she had set her sights on international markets.
"Because of all the effort, passion, time and expense to build this to this stage, I had to think big. We want to make a serious dent in the UK market but we'll probably be international before the end of this year. We've been approached by Spinneys. We'll be entering the Middle East for sure."
Asked if a Middle East listing could come by the end of the year, Sohanpal said: "Most probably, it depends on regulations and labelling."
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She added: "For Europe, at this stand we've been talking to people like Casino Group. We'll be looking at North America within two years. We've got our eyes set on export. All the ingredients have been developed to cater for the export market from day one.
Sohanpal said the company was also looking at developing an adult-focused range of meals. "We've had a lot of demand for Mega Nom Noms. There's nothing like this for adults. This is the first brand that has no salt but is tasty. We are talking with airlines."
The Mini Nom Noms meals have an RRP at GBP3.75 (US$5.57). Sohanpal acknowledged the price is a premium to other brands in the UK but said: "It's a two-course meal firstly and it's got all the health credentials."
The meals contain at least one of a child's five-a-day, no added salt, added sugar, additives or preservatives.
Other children's ready meals brands – including Annabel Karmel and Little Dish – are regularly on offer at UK retailers including Sainsbury's and The Co-operative Group.
Sohanpal said she was prepared to promote to help build awareness of the brand. "On offer, it will probably be two for GBP7. I'm trying to build a brand and get brand awareness out there so parents feel inspired they have a healthy alternative to currently-available meals," she insisted.