Birds Eye is preparing to pull its year-old range of frozen Italian pasta meals, but rival Findus has secured new listings for its own ­frozen pasta.

The three-strong range from Birds Eye, which hit shelves in September 2009, will be ditched due to disappointing sales, the company admitted.

"Birds Eye's Pasta Meals range did not meet base sales expectations and we have decided to discontinue it later this year, despite it showing promising results when launched and when on promotion," said senior brand manager Daniel Wheeler.

The filled pasta range, which comes in Ham & Cheese Tortellini, Cheese Ravioli and Cheese Tortellini variants (rsp: £1.69) has clocked up £1.2m in sales since launch [Nielsen to 4 September].

In comparison, Findus, which launched a resealable bagged frozen pasta range a month after its rival (rsp: £2.99), said it was continuing to "investigate further opportunities to ­develop and grow Findus Frozen Pasta", despite first-year sales looking unlikely to hit the predicted £10m.

By June, Findus Frozen Pasta had generated £4m in sales [Nielsen 40w/e 12 June], but this looks set to grow following recent ­listings in Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Somerfield and Iceland, the company said.

An industry expert suggested the resealable openings on the Findus range could have made the difference between the rivals.

"My hunch would be that the products delivered Birds Eye quality, but failed to tap into the real convenience and ready meal mindset," said Kate Waddell, MD consumer brands at Dragon Rouge.