Eating in is the new dining out

Related tags Ready meals Frozen ready meals Food

UK retail sales of chilled ready meals are predicted to increase to £1,816M in 2013, up from £1,606 in 2009, whereas sales of frozen ready meals...

UK retail sales of chilled ready meals are predicted to increase to £1,816M in 2013, up from £1,606 in 2009, whereas sales of frozen ready meals are expected to drop to £435M in 2013, down from £517M in 2009, according to market researchers Mintel.

It originally forecast the frozen ready meals sector to fall to £381M by 2013, but the sector has started to perform a little better than estimated, as more consumers sought value-for-money options. "Companies have also been improving the quality of frozen ready meals," said a spokeswoman. She expects, however, the sector to see strong competition from meal kits and ready to cook foods, which allow consumers to cook part of their meal and gives them some control over the contents that go into their food. "This revival in home cooking will tend to be confined to weekends for many consumers, still giving the ready meals sector some degree of growth until 2013," she adds.

According to data from Greencore, the category was re-energised in 2009, as people consumed ready meals more and ate out less. An overall market decline of 0.4% was recorded throughout 2009 but in the 12 weeks to October 4, 2009 the sector showed growth of 5.1%. "Consumer spending patterns are a much-discussed topic in the economic downturn," says Steve Malone, director of equipment supplier Proseal.

"One oft quoted trend is how belt tightening has resulted in a drop in the numbers of people dining out, which has led to further growth in spending on ready meals. But even in recessionary times, there is still a need for new product development, particularly in the fast moving food sector."

Related topics Chilled foods Processing equipment

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