UK Prepared Meals Review Share 2014

International cuisines have been widely explored by operators in the prepared meals market looking to cater to adventurous palates and continuously refresh their offering. Mintel’s consumer data show the ongoing demand for such NPD, with South American, Vietnamese and Korean cuisines enjoying the highest interest.

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Table of Content





Executive Summary

The market

The future

Figure 1: Forecast of UK retail sales of prepared meals, by value, 2008-18

Market factors

Horsemeat scare hits ready meals in 2013

Operators look to premiumisation

Companies, brands and innovation

Own-label holds the lead in ready meals

Figure 2: Leading brands’ shares in the UK chilled ready meals market, by value, 2014*

NPD looks to world flavours and low/no/reduced sodium variants

Heinz leads adspend, despite reducing support in 2013

The consumer

88% of UK adults eat prepared meals

Figure 3: Types of prepared meals eaten, March 2014

More than a quarter are buying fewer prepared meals

Figure 4: Changes in purchase patterns of prepared meals over the last six months, March 2014

Ready meals are the most widely seen as convenient

Figure 5: Correspondence analysis of qualities associated with prepared meals, March 2014

Variety of pizza bases would appeal to a third of prepared meal buyers

Figure 6: Agreement with statements on prepared meals, March 2014

What we think

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Issues and Insights

Emphasising involvement in the cooking process could help to mitigate the scratch cooking threat

The facts

The implications

Consumer interest in new cuisines poses an opportunity for flavour innovation

The facts

The implications

Rising incomes will create scope for encouraging trading up

The facts

The implications

Promoting vegetable content in prepared meals could improve health image

The facts

The implications

Trend Application

Trend: Many Mes

Trend: Survival Skills

Mintel futures: Brand Intervention

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