US-based food group Simplot has claimed a “market first” in Australia with the launch of rice line to its Birds Eye Steam Fresh range.

The Steam Fresh Rice combines snap frozen vegetables with flavoured long grain rice, in a one-serve portion. The range is available in two variants: Rice with Mediterranean Vegetables and Seasoned Rice with Peas & Spinach.

The line is designed to appeal to consumers looking for convenient food options and can be cooked in the microwave in two and a half minutes.

Steam Fresh Rice is available in 400g (2 x 200g servings) with an RRP of A$3.69 (US$3.50).

Meanwhile, Simplot has announced two frozen and canned vegetable plants in Australia could close.

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