Mars Inc has said growing demand from UK consumers for products with added health benefits was the motivation behind its new Uncle Ben's rice line.

The food giant has extended its Uncle Ben's rice range in the UK with the launch of a 'Twice the Fibre' line. Mars is hoping to target parents looking to get more fibre into their family meals with the range, which offers "a blend of long grain rice and fibre grains".

A spokesperson for the brand told just-food the company feels it has a responsibility to "help address the challenges of health and nutrition" through its innovation, as consumer demand for "added benefit varieties" increases.

"Within grocery there has been success across ranges that have developed products with added health benefits such as Best of Both breads, cereal bars with added fibre or fruit juices with added calcium. This communicates a UK consumer demand for added benefit varieties of their household favourites," the spokesperson said. "We tackle these challenges through a programme of information, renovation and innovation backed by scientific evidence."

The spokesperson said Mars will spend GBP2m (US$3.1m) on a national television advertising campaign and media support in the first year of the product's launch.

While initially only available in Asda stores, the spokesperson said Uncle Ben's is hoping to achieve listings across all major retailers in the coming months.