Batchelors and Pot Noodle could have a new rival as a British company brings the first instant rice meal to the European market.

London-based Dadsons is launching Head Chef Instant Rice pouches at the Sial exhibition in Paris next month.

Consumers pour boiling water directly into the 130g pouches, which contain cooked rice and dehydrated vegetables. They come with a seasoning sachet and a fork and are available in six varieties that are all suitable for vegetarians, including smoked pork ­flavour & vegetable.

“The meals are intended to be a healthier alternative to instant noodles,” said Dadsons business development manager Sunil Dadlani.

Similar products are available in the US and the Far East, but this was the first of its kind in Europe, the company claimed.