Antony Worrall Thompson's range of ready meals survived just months on supermarket shelves before being axed, The Grocer can reveal.

The three-strong range of premium paella, casseroles and stews hit Morrisons stores in June of last year but were pulled within months following poor sales.

The meals were also trialled in Somerfield in July but were phased out after a few months having failed to register with consumers, according to Peter King, spokesman for 2 Sisters Food Group, which collaborated with the celebrity chef to launch the range.

King admitted the £3.49 rsp and brand proposition had failed to appeal to credit-crunched consumers.

"At the time, the AWT ready meals were thought to be a good initiative with which to appeal to the consumer," King said. "But the target audience was not buying into it. There seems to have been a change in the way people view products that are endorsed by celebrity chefs.

"It was the wrong product at the wrong time."

The news comes after Jean Christophe Novelli's range of ready meals was wound up by owner Findus at the end of last year.

Both failures were indicative of the consumer backlash against ready meals backed by celebrity chefs, claimed Don Williams, CEO of branding agency Pi global. "I am going to stick my neck out and make a prediction: consumers are growing tired of overpaid, irritating and - as far as I'm concerned - daft celebrity chefs," he said. "The demise of Mr Worrall Thompson's range will be the first in a long line of retail casualties."