Dinner mixes, or meal kits, have benefited from a dual trend: increased cooking, but also a need for increased convenience. In 2020, British consumers spent much more time cooking and eating at home than they did pre-pandemic, and 2021 has also seen a fair share of the year being locked down at home, thus continuing this trend.
Sustainability also plays a key role in ready meals, especially when it comes to packaging. Even though the category is still growing despite a return to more mobility and increased time spent outside the home, there are also some concerns around the recyclability of packaging.
Nutritional added value has also been a key driver in ready meals in 2021. In fact, as ready meals have long been criticised for their low health quality and perception as highly processed, some brands, such as Bol, are trying to reverse the trend by providing the opposite to that, with healthy and nourishing meals.
In the forecast period, dinner mixes is set to sustain dynamic growth. Meal kits offer convenience and substantial time-saving for consumers with busy lifestyles.
Ready meals also sees competition from foodservice, for instance with Caffè Carluccio opening branches within an increasing number of Sainsbury’s supermarkets. Other than this, meal deals, such as the one for frozen pizza by retailer Iceland during the Euro games, is further testimony to the fact that consumers are looking for hometainment occasions and products.
The lack of a healthy perception remains one of the main concerns for the category. However, for frozen ready meals and pizza, more communication could be issued about their clean labels.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Ready Meals industry in United Kingdom with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This is the aggregation of shelf stable, dried, chilled and frozen ready meals. They have a high degree of readiness and convenience. In most instances they are ready-to-heat or ready-to-eat. Ready meals are generally accepted to be complete meals that require few or no extra ingredients. However, in the case of shelf stable ready meals, the term also encompasses meal 'centres’.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Ready Meals research and analysis database.
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