Company: Mars Food
Rsp: £1.99
Competition: Innocent Veg Pots, Heinz Pasta Pouches
The sell: Rice Time will satisfy consumers looking for a quick and easy meal. It is made with simple, quality ingredients and is full of flavour

The consumer
My first impressions of the product weren't great as the cardboard outer wrapper fell apart in my bag. It was easy to prepare but I was shocked at how orange and artificial-looking the sauce was. This carried on to the taste, which was synthetic and too sweet, although the vegetable pieces were nice and crunchy. I wouldn't have it again. Two stars (out of five)
Amber Stoddart, designer, Hove

The expert
The outer packaging carries strong branding, but needs to be sturdier as the two pots are separate and liable to split. This is a good, healthy convenience product and the portion size was enough for a light meal. It is mainly aimed at women, and it's ideal for vegetarians. At £1.99, the product is a little pricey compared with other microwavable products, but will do really well when on promotion. I look forward to trying the other variants. Four stars
Tracey Redfearn, trading controller, Today's

The Grocer
This neat little ambient launch certainly ticks all the right boxes when it comes to convenience. It's ready to go in just 90 seconds and can be eaten from the pot, making it more convenient than Heinz's recent ambient launch, Pasta Pouches. At £1.99 the price point is spot on too. Shame the taste is all sweet and no sour but maybe the time-strapped punters Mars is aiming for will be too busy to recognise the taste of cheap Chinese takeaway. Three stars
Rob Brown, features editor