Flexible plastic is the most popular pack type in frozen ready meals, but folding cartons continues to gain share in this category, with this pack type helping to convey a premium image. This pack type is often used for frozen ready meals targeted at children and provides a more unique and natural image than flexible plastic.
In 2021, frozen ready meals saw a slight decline in sales, although sales remained higher than pre-pandemic levels. This negatively impacted the unit volumes of flexible plastic, the dominant pack type, used in the packaging of frozen ready meals in 2021, although the more dynamic folding cartons pack type continued growing and gaining share in 2021.
Xiamen Yinlu Foods, the leading player in canned porridge, entered dried ready meals by launching instant porridge and other such products in 2021. The advantage of instant porridge over traditional canned porridge (shelf stable ready meals) is that it is more akin to freshly-cooked hot porridge.
The return to more normal social and economic activity, including the return to workplaces such as offices and the reopening of consumer foodservice outlets, should reduce the frequency with which people need to consume food at home during the forecast period compared with during the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to a decline in demand in 2021, with only very modest positive annual growth expected for ready meals packaging over the forecast period.
Chilled ready meals are expected to perform well over the forecast period, as breakfast and midnight snacks are still a particular strength of chilled ready meals from convenience stores, when most consumer foodservice businesses are not operational. This will benefit packaging volumes of flexible plastic and folding cartons used in the packaging of chilled ready meals.
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This is the aggregation of canned/preserved, chilled pizza, chilled, dinner mixes, dried, frozen pizza, frozen ready meals and prepared salads. Note: Ready meals are products that have had recipe ''skills'' added to them by the manufacturer, resulting in a high degree of readiness, completion and convenience. Ready meals are generally accepted to be complete meals that require few or no extra ingredients, however, in the case of canned/preserved ready meals, the term also encompasses meal ''centres’; for dinner mixes, the term encompasses part meals. Some ready meals may require cooking; others may simply need reheating, prior to serving.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Ready Meals Packaging research and analysis database.
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