Food and Drink

Britain’s first air fryer ready meal range – and it will only set you back £1.99 and just over 500 calories

MJ’s Diner, a food brand hailing from Birkenhead, is launching its first-to-market range of 14 frozen ready meals specifically developed for the air fryer.

  • 14-strong frozen product range with five new products arriving this week
  • Everything you need for the perfect ‘fakeaway’ in one pack
  • Frozen ready meals cook in under 20 minutes
  • Developed for the air fryer but can be cooked in a conventional oven
  • All meals contain under 915 calories
  • Priced from £1.99 to £2.49

The range includes an array of ‘fakeaways’ such as Salt and Pepper Chicken, Katsu Chicken Curry, Kebab, and chip-shop favourites such as Steak Pie and Sausages, Chips and Gravy. All products are priced between £1.99 and £2.49 per pack, have fewer calories than ‘ordering in’ – every meal in the range comes in at under 915kcals with the lowest just 531kcals – and all meal items come in one easy pack.

The range – a British first for the company owned by Noel Davis, 50, who lives in Formby – cooks in less than 20 minutes, with some meals ready to eat in just 15. It’s already available in Farmfoods, Noel’s own Oops Food Clearance in St Helens, and over 300 independent retailers nationwide, as well as being about to hit the shelves in Poundland.

Noel, who has over 30 years of experience in food manufacturing and distribution across several different businesses, saw a market gap. The ingenious idea was sparked over a meal with his three children: Dara,18, Aoife,17 and Rory,15.

“Over 12.5m households are using air fryers and after a discussion with my family in which they were championing air fryers and how many times a week they use them – I just suddenly thought we have the perfect products, the development and distribution network,  and the contacts to launch this and with much success,” said Noel.

“We’ve ensured that we have selected some top British ‘fakeaway’ favourites in the range and included everything you need, so the gravy comes in its own sachet, as does the salt and pepper seasoning for you to sprinkle over after just 15 minutes cooking time. The range is a no-brainer. It’s cheaper, quicker, healthier, and far higher quality than ordering in – every time.

“This is already a record-breaking range for us, and it only launched last week! Rates of sale are up to 500% greater than the leading brands, which is seven or eight times more than the best-selling products such as Bisto, which have been on the market for many years.”

Due to the instant success, Noel has already recruited 50 staff members in his Birkenhead facility to cope with the demand.

The 14 products in the frozen range, are:

  • Chicken Nuggets and Fries (Made with 100% Breast)
  • Fish Fillet and Straight Cut Chips
  • Mixed Starter: 2 Potato Skins, 6 Garlic Mushrooms & 4 Hot & Spicy wings
  • All Day Breakfast – 2 Sausage, 2 Hash Browns, 3 Gammon Grill / Steak, 2 Black Pudding
  • Katsu Chicken & Crinkle Cut Chips – 100% Breast Fillet
  • Sweet & Sour Chicken & Crinkle Cut Chips (100% Breast Fillet)
  • Shortcrust Steak Pie and Steak Cut Chips
  • Southern Fried Popcorn Chicken and crispy fries
  • Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings and Crinkle Cut Chips
  • Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips
  • 2 Beef Grillsteaks with Chips
  • Crispy Chicken Goujons and Crinkle Cut Chips (100% Breast Fillet)
  • Salt & Pepper Chicken Chunks and Crinkle Cut Chips
  • Beef Meatballs with Chips & Gravy

Noel continued: “This product range hasn’t been designed to be a healthy meal for the family. It’s here to help those who are time-poor and want something that won’t blow their calorie count but is a quick, tasty, and cheap option for an evening meal or breakfast.

“Air fryers are now a kitchen staple. They’ve proven they are not a gimmick or a fad. They are here to stay and are helping us Brits enjoy those treat meals more regularly because nothing is deep fried – so you still get that desired crunch and crispiness, just without the oil and fat.”

Noel and his team have developed a British first – with no other brand yet creating a ready meal designed for the air fryer. “Most ready meals are, of course, what we call in the industry ‘wet’, which means sauce-based,” continues Noel.

“Ours will not disappoint, won’t stick to the side, and are a step away from a sauce-based meal. We’ve reinvented the takeaway meal – and you know what, I have to say, it tastes much nicer!”

Noel is already in talks with the likes of Home Bargains, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s to supply the air fryer-ready meals. New options are also on the way, including Chips with Chip Shop Curry Sauce, Kebab Meat and Chips with Sriracha Sauce (hot and spicy chilli sauce), Salt & Pepper Pork Ribs and Crinkle Cut Chips, Pork Sausage in Gravy and Chips, and Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings and Crinkle Cut Chips.

Noel and his team are ready to produce 350,000 meals per week and feel the new range is perfect for students, busy individuals, and families on the go. He also suggests splitting a packet for an easy kids’ meal for two.

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