Birds Eye is venturing into gourmet vegetable dishes as part of a £15m three-year plan to rejuvenate the frozen vegetables market.

The heavyweight investment will kick off next month with the launch of Tasty Veg, a new range of prepared vegetables available in peas with mint, carrots with coriander and leeks in cream. Birds Eye is investing £2.5m into marketing the gourmet range, rsp £1.49, and estimates first-year sales of £6.5m, although marketing support won’t start until after Christmas.

Nathan Ansell, general marketing manager for vegetables, predicted the Tasty Veg launch coupled with a new £2.5m marketing push for its peas, which starts next month, would grow Birds Eye’s frozen vegetables business from £95m to £125m by 2011.

“For too long frozen vegetables have been convenient but boring,” said Ansell. “This is the most exciting thing to hit the category since frozen peas were launched 70 years ago.”