Martin Glenn has vowed to find “new and legally robust ways” to promote the health-giving qualities of frozen veg after the ASA banned a Polar Bear ad in which Birds Eye claimed its frozen peas and broccoli contained 30% more ­vitamins than fresh.

The watchdog ruled that Birds Eye could not use the press and poster ads again and could not make nutritional claims between frozen and fresh vegetables.

But Birds Eye CEO Glenn insisted the “ridiculous” ruling had been made on a technicality. “The ASA decided to interpret the statement as a nutrition claim. It’s not. It’s a processing claim that’s backed by hard scientific evidence.

“We’re not saying a frozen pea is more nutritious than a freshly picked pea. Our point is that if you pick two peas from the same pod, the freezing process will lock in the vitamins in the frozen pea; while the vitamin content in the fresh pea will reduce as it travels through the supply chain. It sounds like a storm in a teacup, but it’s important that we fight this. We’re trying to get consumers to eat five-a-day; frozen veg are a lot cheaper than supermarket fresh; contain more vitamins and are available all year round. Isn’t that a good thing to promote?

“So we will keep banging away to find new and legally robust ways to get the accurate message across that frozen vegetables contain more vitamins than fresh veg sold in supermarkets and greengrocers.”