Boots to serve premium meal deals lunch option

Boots is adding the finishing touches to a lunchtime menu that will include a value and premium meal-deal option as well as hot snacks for the first time.

The health and beauty chain claims to have been the first to offer meal deals, with other retailers copying its tactics, and is keen to differentiate itself in the UK's growing£3 billion sandwich market.

To support its food offensive, Boots is relaunching Menu, its fourth-largest brand overall, as Delicious later this month. The range will be extended to 155 foods, such as snackpots and desserts. It will debut overnight at 900 stores on September 13.

The value meal deal gives customers a choice of three items for£2.50.

Eligible foods are marked with a red dot. For an extra 50p, the Indulgent offer allows shoppers choice of any three items from the Boots food offer.

Boots is rewriting its recipe book to take advantage of powerful food trends. In January, it reinvented slimming brand Shapers as a healthy eating option and more recently introduced an Atkins-branded range for low-carb dieters.

'The food market is a growing area for us,' said a Boots spokesman. 'Shapers was a real hit and we think extending the range will give shoppers better value and put us ahead.'

Boots has also teamed up with EasyJet entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou to create a men's toiletries range called Easy4men.

The 'no-nonsense' range enters stores in November and joins the stable of 'new and only at Boots' celebrity and retailer tie-ups.