Thorntons has made the move into the branded chilled bakery and desserts sector with the launch of a nine-strong range into the grocery channel this month.

Alongside the dessert range, manufactured for Thorntons by Elisabeth the Chef, the confectionery firm, which already has a successful ambient cakes and bites range, has also introduced a range of four cookies, produced for them by Northumbrian Fine Foods.

Thorntons’ sales and operations director Barry Bloomer said that, with the firm’s turnover in the grocery retail division currently at £53m and growing at over 40%, it was a “natural progression” to branch out into the chilled desserts category.

“We chose to work with Elisabeth the Chef as they have a strong reputation for innovative and high-quality products across both chilled bakery and pot desserts,” said Bloomer.

Jonathan Burr, sales and marketing director at Elisabeth the Chef added that the range provides an accessible indulgence that doesn’t currently exist in the category.

The dessert range features: Chocolate Secret Centre and Double Toffee & Vanilla pot desserts; Sticky Toffee Pudding; Chocolate & Toffee Tart; Sticky Toffee Tart; Sticky Double Chocolate Pudding; and Treacle Tart.

The cookie range comprises: Triple Chocolate Chunk; Ginger & Dark Chocolate; Praline & Milk Chocolate; and Sicilian Lemon Meringue. It is currently listed in Morrisons and Thorntons stores, with a selection of skus to launch in Asda and Sainsbury’s this month.