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Convenience of Ready Meals Irresistible For UK Consumers

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Convenience of Ready Meals Irresistible For UK Consumers

Convenience of Ready Meals Irresistible For UK Consumers
August 20
09:25 2013

According to ‘Ready Meals 2013’, a new Market Report Plus by market intelligence firm Key Note, the UK market grew by 5.7% in 2012. This was due to continued demand for convenience foods and product innovation.

The UK has one of the most advanced ready meals industries in the world. It is made up of two principal sectors – chilled and frozen. Chilled ready meals account for more than half the market. Moreover, the sector grew at more than twice the rate as frozen ready meals in 2012. Nevertheless, its growth rate slowed in 2012, while that of frozen ready meals accelerated.

Chilled ready meals have traditionally been perceived to be of better quality than their frozen counterparts. However, efforts by manufacturers are gradually changing this trend. In addition, the lower cost of frozen ready meals appeals to cash-strapped consumers who are prioritising value.

Flavour is playing a major role in maintaining market dynamism. New recipes and dishes inspired by various ethnic cuisines are being launched into the market. Consumers are eager to try the latest ready meals and manufacturers want their products to stand out on saturated retail shelves. Moreover, there is a niche in the market for children’s ready meals.

There is also a demand for healthier ready meals as part of a balanced diet. Vegetarian options, Free-From variants and ready meals made with natural ingredients have all been introduced in recent times.

In January 2013, the ready meals industry was rocked by the horsemeat scandal. Nevertheless, Key Note expects that the ready meals market is set to make a full recovery. Although it is forecast to decline in value in 2013, it is expected to return to growth in 2014 and is likely to supersede its pre-horsemeat scandal value by 2015. Overall, between 2013 and 2017, the ready meals industry is forecast to rise by 20.2%.

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