By MARTH DELGADO
Is the new five minute potato as tasty?
It is a simple, delicious dish that two-thirds of UK households eat up to four times a week – and which features in 1.4 million British meals a year.
Yet for some time-pressed modern families, the humble jacket potato has one big drawback – it takes about an hour to bake properly.
Now frozen-food giant McCain may have come up with a solution – the ‘Ready Baked Jacket’. It is a baked spud that needs to be microwaved for just five minutes but is said to taste as good as the traditional oven-cooked variety.
The McCain jackets will certainly save time and can be heated in minutes
The product will be in the shops from tomorrow and has cost McCain – which launched the frozen chip more than 30 years ago – £6 million to develop.
The Ready Baked Jacket is bought part-baked and drizzled in sunflower oil and it is these two elements that give it the texture of a traditional ‘spud in the oven’, according to the firm.
McCain spokesman Mark Hodge said: ‘This is our most significant launch in years. It will revolutionise jacket-potato eating in the UK.’
The classic oven-baked potato won but Tom Parker-Bowles praised the new McCain variation and said it was perfect if you had little time
Industry analysts were also optimistic. Richard Buchanan of branding agency The Clearing said: ‘This is the company that reinvented the frozen-chip category. If anyone can do the same for jackets, it’s McCain.’
Most jacket potatoes are cooked in the oven for an hour, according to surveys. But that is too slow for British households, which expect a meal to be ready in just 20 minutes on average. The solution, according to McCain, is the Ready Baked Jacket, which will cost £1.49 for a pack of two.
McCain has solid reason to believe the public will take to the product. When its oven chips appeared in 1979, many shoppers were horrified. But research shows that an estimated 30 per cent of British households now eat chips cooked this way.