Rice to meet you: Mars-owned Ben’s Original expands ready-to-heat range for convenient and healthier options

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Ben’s Original has launched a new ready-to-heat range to meet rising demand for healthier options that are convenient and versatile. ©Mars Food & Nutrition Australia
Ben’s Original has launched a new ready-to-heat range to meet rising demand for healthier options that are convenient and versatile. ©Mars Food & Nutrition Australia

Related tags Mars Rice ready to heat Rte Healthier choice

Mars Food & Nutrition Australia has launched a new ready-to-heat range under the Ben’s Original brand to meet rising demand for healthier options that are convenient and versatile.

The Ben’s Original 10+ Medley microwavable series includes three flavours — Mexican Style, Mediterranean Style and Chinese Style — that are said to reflect the trend of “more culturally diverse eating patterns”.

Each pouch contains 10 plant-based ingredients, including whole grains, vegetables, legumes and herbs, which serve to complement the flavour.

“Globally, we are seeing a permanent shift in eating habits, with an emphasis on healthy offerings. There is also growing consumer interest in gut health, and the impact a healthy gut has on physical and mental well-being.

“We know that while many consumers are short on time, they still want to enjoy nutritious and delicious meals. Ready in 90 seconds, our latest innovation offers an easy and convenient way to supercharge meals with more plant-based and gut-friendly fibre. When it comes to encouraging people to adopt healthier food choices, convenience is key,”​ Samantha Ayling, Brand Manager of Ben’s Original, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

According to Ayling, Ben’s Original rice range has been a staple for Australian consumers for over 40 years, with the Mexican Style and Special Fried Rice being all-time top-sellers.

“This shows that rice-based meals are on high rotation in Australian households. Both variants are versatile flavours whereby people can add in their own twist and preferences, such as their favourite protein, making them crowd-pleasers.

“Ben’s Original 10+ Medley is a very exciting addition to our portfolio, as we stay committed to delivering the world’s best rice products.”

The new range is available at Coles, Woolworths, and IGA stores across Australia.

Packs a punch

With this launch, the brand has also partnered with accredited dietitian Rebecca Gawthorne, who shared that all three flavours have been given a four-star Health Star Rating (HSR).

Implemented in Australia and New Zealand since June 2014, the HSR is a voluntary front-of-pack labelling system that rates the overall nutritional profile of packaged foods and assigns them a rating from half a star to five stars — the more stars, the healthier the product.

It is jointly funded by the governments of the two countries, and provides a simple and standard way of comparing packaged foods.

The Ben’s Original 10+ Medley Mexican Style is a seasoned rice dish with ingredients like sweet corn, capsicum and black beans. Each serving contains 64g of whole grains and 6.1g of fibre.

Similarly, the Mediterranean Style provides 63g of wholegrains and 6g of fibre, while the Chinese Style delivers 65.5g of whole grains and 5.4g of fibre per serving respectively.

“The nutrient-packed pouches contain no artificial flavours or preservatives. They are easily transportable, which makes for an effortless work lunch and a quick weeknight dinner for those with busy lifestyles, and anyone looking to increase their whole grain and fibre intake without compromising on flavour,” ​Gawthorne said.

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