Lawrence Dallaglio launches pasta sauce brand

The celebrity sauce industry is worth £80m in the UK alone. Dallaglio is the newest player on the market, joining veterans Lloyd Grossman and Jamie Oliver on supermarket aisles nationwide.

Dallaglio, who quit Rugby Union last year, has decided to capitalise on both his fame and his Italian roots to design a range of healthy pasta sauces. 

His lightbulb moment struck at a dinner party last December. Dallaglio found himself sitting next to brand consultant Robert Bean and mentioned his ambition to break into the food industry. Pretty soon, Bean had set up a meeting with rugby fan and UK managing director of Sacla Clare Blampied, a deal was struck and Bingo! A new celebrity entrepreneur was made.

"It was bizarre,” Blampied told The Times. “Never had something felt so right, and I think you should trust your instinct in these things.”

Blampied invested £5m to develop three Dallaglio-branded varieties. She has high hopes for the brand: “I would like to see the product in the top three pasta sauce brands in the UK within 12 months,” she says.

Dallaglio says that his love of food and flair for cooking come from his father Vincenzo. He’s quick to shrug off any cynicism about his motives or competancy: “Anyone who has eaten at my house or been in my company will know that I have a passion for good food. I was always the one who was handed the menu in restaurants when we went out as a team because everyone would finish with a smile on their face when I ordered.”

“My rugby career was never driven by money," he continues. "Otherwise I would not have played for Wasps for 17 years!"

Celebrity sauces make up 12 per cent of the pasta sauce industry. Dallaglio hopes to fork up a large portion of this but the market is volatile. In the last 12 months, a number of similar brands have gone bust: soups by Marco Pierre White; premium ready-meals by Antony Worrall Thompson and Jean-Christophe Novelli, all bust.

But Robert Bean is concinced that he, Dallaglio and Blampied are on to a winner. "The rugby fraternity will love it," he says. "Mums will try it, kids will ask for it and blokes, especially those who are reluctant in the kitchen, will also buy it because you have this man’s man saying cooking is OK.”

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