Meat-free products maker Quorn Foods has launched its first vegan range in the UK and Nordic markets.

The range comprises two products: Quorn Vegan Pieces and Quorn Vegan Hot & Spicy Burger. The products will launch in the Nordic market and UK initially with an international roll out expected later this year.

Quorn said the launch follows three years of "intensive new product development" to ensure they "replicate the taste and quality which Quorn is renowned for".

Julian Cooke, head of category management at Quorn, said: "The launch of Quorn Vegan marks an exciting new chapter for Quorn Foods and we are thrilled to be bringing these innovative products to the market, demand for which has been driven by our consumers. Our social media channels have been inundated with consumer requests for a range of Quorn products to be Vegan friendly. With such a strong demand and following we know this launch will be widely celebrated by vegans across the UK."

Cooke said in the UK, there are 300,000 vegans "for whom Quorn Vegan will be an excellent option".

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"We have consciously targeted this launch in the frozen category, as the freezing process helps the Quorn Vegan range to deliver the fantastic texture you would expect from Quorn. By using potato starch we have managed to achieve this on our vegan products and there are more in the pipeline, to meet consumer demand," he added.

Quorn Vegan Pieces and Quorn Hot & Spicy Burger will be available in Asda from October each at an RRP of GBP2.49 (US$3.84).

A sale of Quorn is expected by the end of the year with potential suitors receiving information memoranda last week.

Quorn's owner, the private-equity firm Exponent, has hired Houlihan Lokey to run an auction for a company it bought in 2011 from Premier Foods plc for GBP205m (US$314.5m).