Ready meals continued to experience solid demand in 2019, supported by the convenience factor. While traditionally, ready meals were perceived as unhealthy, the efforts of players to offer well-balanced meal solutions using good quality ingredients with a greater variety of cuisine types and flavours, offer consumers a greater choice.
Ready meals that have a fresh perception including prepared salads, chilled pizza and chilled ready meals, continued to perform strongly in 2019, although frozen pizza also improved its retail volume sales due to the efforts of players to offer more premium quality Italian-style pizza, such as the launch of Dr Oetker PizzAMo. However, dinner mixes recorded the strongest growth in both retail volume and current value terms in 2019 and is predicted to continue to perform well over the forecast period, benefiting from the increasing popularity of meal kits.
In line with health trends in Austria, producers of ready meals are increasingly focusing on offering products which use natural ingredients, have greater transparency in terms of origin, in addition to addressing the growing interest in vegetarian meals. The latter trend was supported by efforts such as processed fruit and vegetables brand Bonduelle, which launched a new vegetarian shelf stable ready meal in 2019, including its Ratatouille, which has a French cuisine appeal and can be consumed with pasta or a baguette, offering further options for meal occasions.
Rewe International, manufacturer of private label line Chef Menü strengthened its lead of ready meals in 2019. The retailer profits from its high number of supermarket and hypermarket chains Billa, Merkur and Adeg in Austria which supports the wide distribution of its products.
International player Dr Oetker GmbH closely followed Rewe International, also gaining further value share due to its dominance of frozen pizza, the largest category within ready meals in retail volume terms with its brands Ristorante, Pietro Pizzi and Traditionale. Dr Oetker pizzas have a long-standing tradition in Austria and are well trusted as a quality brand.
Wagner Tiefkühlprodukte retained its third position in 2019 within ready meals due its wide offer of frozen pizzas for global brand owner Nestlé SA, including Original Wagner Piccolinis, Original Wagner Steinofen Pizza and Original Wagner Die Backfrische. The player also launched a new addition to this line with Ernst Wagners “Original”, which capitalises on the name of the brand’s founder.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.