Chilled ready meals sales up 8.4% year-on-year

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ready meals, Thermodynamics, Supply and demand

ready meal
ready meal
Sales of chilled ready meals surged 8.4% in the year to July 11, while volumes shot up 14.4% over the same period, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel.

Figures supplied to FoodManufacture.co.uk also reveal strong growth in fresh soup, which was up 10.3% in value and 10.6% in volume over the period.

Prepared fruit preformed well, up 5.1% in value and 5.5% in volume, while fresh stuffing – a niche but growing category – was up 3.6% in value and 5.3% in volume.

The figures, which reflect the positive sentiments outlined in Greencore’s summer trading statement,​ provide further evidence of a more favourable trading environment in ready meals following the big squeeze in 2008/9 as manufacturers closed a clutch of factories to tackle overcapacity and shoppers spurned the chillers for cheaper frozen meals, said Shore Capital analyst Clive Black.

Northern Foods, which has shut or mothballed three ready meals factories in the last three years​ after failing to agree mutually satisfactory terms with a key customer, also reported a 14% rise in underlying revenues in its chilled division in the 13 weeks to July 3 highlighting "continued steady improvement" ​in ready meals, he noted.

There was now a “more favourable balance between supply and demand” ​in ready meals manufacturing,​ while profitability in the sector was also “more robust”​, added Black.

Related topics: Chilled foods

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