Princes is repositioning its Quick Eat! brand under the main Princes banner in a bid to strengthen its position in the competitive market for instant ambient meal options.

The overhaul comes a few weeks after rival Heinz announced it was making a foray into instant pot snacks with Big Eat - a microwaveable range of snack meals.

"A big part of the relaunch is repositioning the range as a complete meal rather than a quick snack, which is the market Heinz has gone for with Big Eat," said marketing director Neil Brownbill. He predicted the Princes sub-brand would clock up £6m of sales in its first year.

The updated range, which will have new packaging and flavours, was introduced in November 2005 as a light meal designed as a nutritious alternative to dehydrated pot snacks such as Pot Noodle.

The 330g pots maintain the same meat content as before, but with improved recipes and two new variants: chilli con carne with rice and a hot chicken curry with rice. These will replace green Thai chicken & rice curry and tomato & mascarpone sauce with rice.

This is not the first time Princes has made changes to the Quick Eat! range in the ambient brand's short lifetime. Last autumn the company reduced the price from £1.99 to £1.49, a move Brownbill said resulted in a strong increase in sales and repeat purchases.

The launch will be supported by a £1m marketing push including press, outdoor advertising and in-store sampling. The

activity, which kicks off in May, is aimed at highlighting the quality of the meals and will be targeted at

busy mums, the lunchtime market and on-the-go consumers.

The range hits shelves this month and will be listed in Tesco, Somerfield, Asda, Morrisons and The Co-operative Group.