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Ready Meals in Middle East and Africa

April 2020

This report shows the landscape for ready meals in the Middle East and Africa and highlights the key growth areas. The category is still niche across the region, but with increased consumer awareness and more affordable products, it has the potential to register growth in the coming years. Growth for ready meals will lay in innovation with a local flair, answering consumer demands. Ample growth potential is expected as consumers lead increasingly demanding lives and seek convenience.

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Key Findings

Ready meals is a niche category in MEA

The MEA region recorded the second highest value CAGR in the review period, although per capita spending remained low. Most markets are very small and still developing. Innovation with a local flair is a significant component of growth in the region. South Africa and Israel are the biggest markets for ready meals in MEA.

Frozen pizza the king of convenience

The top 10 companies in ready meals in the MEA region mainly compete in frozen pizza. This is very popular with consumers as it provides the convenience they are seeking.

Home cooking and consumer foodservice compete with ready meals

Ready meals experiences mild to strong competition from home cooking and consumer foodservice, depending on the country. Home cooking is more economical for cash-strapped consumers, while consumer foodservice is considered a fresher option compared with frozen ready meals/pizza.

Modern channels dominate distribution

Supermarkets and hypermarkets are the most popular channels, because these products need continuous cold storage.

Consumers seek convenient healthy meal offerings

There is ample growth potential for ready meals in MEA, as consumers demand convenience. They are also looking for health and wellness offerings as they become more health-conscious, especially in the Middle East.

Affordability remains a potential threat to future growth

The MEA region is rife with challenging economic conditions and political uncertainty. This decreases consumers’ spending power and limits their purchases to only essential products.


Key findings

Regional Overview

MEA region records second highest CAGR despite low per capita spend
Growth expected following challenging economic conditions
South Africa and Israel the largest ready meals markets in MEA
Frozen pizza shows highest historic CAGR in South Africa and Morocco
South Africa sees a move from frozen to chilled ready meals
Competition from foodservice and home cooking may hamper growth
Supermarkets and hypermarkets the most popular distribution channels…
…because most ready meals need continuous cold storage

Leading Companies and Brands

Private label dominates ready meals in South Africa
Top 10 companies in MEA mainly compete in frozen pizza
Dr Oetker continues to lead frozen pizza
Health and wellness trend boosts healthy brand rankings

Forecast Projections

Ample growth potential for ready meals in MEA
Consumers will increasingly demand convenient ready meals
Ready meals expected to grow at a moderate pace…
…but affordability and consumer awareness remain potential threats

Country Snapshots

South Africa: market context
South Africa: competitive and retail landscape
United Arab Emirates: market context
United Arab Emirates: competitive and retail landscape
Morocco: market context
Morocco: competitive and retail landscape
Saudi Arabia: market context
Saudi Arabia: competitive and retail landscape


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