World Market for Cooking Ingredients and Meals

January 2022

Continued uncertainty in the reopening of markets has benefited cooking ingredients and meals. Trends and lifestyle changes that emerged during the pandemic years, resulting in greater adoption of digitalisation and greater influence of foodservice trends at home, are expected to continue. Novel innovations incorporate product positioning to appease consumer goals for holistic wellbeing, while plant-based ingredients go beyond milks and meat into meal essentials.

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Key Findings

Greater impact of foodservice on retail innovations

With restaurant-at-home as a continued motivator for innovation, trends and menus at restaurants will play a bigger role in influencing product development for meals at home. This also raises the attractiveness of products created by renowned chefs or restaurants.

Digital evolution enhances channel development and strategies

The emerging subscription model of meal kits has carved greater relevance of e-commerce for meals at home in some regions, and will create opportunities for other digital strategies. Utilising digital means for a more transparent positioning is one such example particularly relevant in proving authenticity of ingredients and in providing sourcing evidence.

Holistic wellness gains relevance as functionality balances with “natural”

Focus on nutrition gains importance in the years following the pandemic as consumers are expected to be more discerning and particular about the food they consume. However, natural positioning continues to gain favour, causing consumer goals for holistic wellbeing to escalate.

Shift towards local, authentic ingredients

Authentic ingredients that are adapted to local cuisines may encourage spend among consumers wary of premium positionings but still desire novel offerings. Consumers actively supporting local communities during the pandemic, may continue to seek out local brands and products.

Plant-based meals gain traction and further align with sustainability

As the plant-based trend further penetrates markets beyond milks and meat analogues, businesses are introducing more plant-based options in meals such as in sauces and ready meals. Other sustainable positioning, such as pre-portioned ingredients, will gain importance as brands promote holistic sustainability at home.

Examining five trends shaping Cooking Ingredients and Meals
COVID-19 effects retain stickiness in 2021, boosting retail sales prospects
Ready meals a convenient meal solution for consumers in hybrid work-from-home lifestyles
Australasia shows strong demand for both meal kits and ready-to-eat formats
Uncertain pandemic recovery drives steady growth in Asia Pacific
Pockets of growth are present within emerging regions
Rapid product development boosts sales across categories globally
Edible oils benefits from higher volume uptake, in addition to premiumisation
E-commerce leads growth, but grocery retailers are integral to cooking ingredients
Developed markets ride on health trends to boost value sales potential
Pessimistic scenarios predict a potential drop in 2022, except for edible oils
Need to innovate to overcome dampened demand for “quarantine food”
The share of top leaders is dropping across several regions
Targeted markets and categories drive Adani and HelloFresh into the global top 10
Adani has remained on top of trends and changes in India’s edible oils market
New cooking occasions have driven growth opportunities
Retail presence may make up for resistance to dining out
HelloFresh catapults into the top 10 thanks to continuous innovation
Examining five trends shaping Cooking Ingredients and Meals
Foodservice comeback and food delivery penetration put pressure on retail
Restaurant-at-home strategy becomes more relevant for retail innovations
Digital evolution significantly alters path to purchase and meal consumption
Meal producers to increasingly leverage digital means to connect directly with consumers
Natural positioning remains necessary, but consumers are more nutrition-conscious
A trend towards holistic wellbeing with functional ingredients
High demand for novel and authentic products without the price
Novelty in cooking ingredients in the form of authenticity and brand experience
Manufacturers strive to encourage integration of plant-based food in daily diets
All-rounded sustainability goals expected to motivate consumers to eat plant-based meals
Global snapshot of Edible Oils
Global snapshot of Ready Meals
Global snapshot of Sauces, Dressings and Condiments
Global snapshot of Soup
Global snapshot of Sweet Spreads
Regional snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: Australasia
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Western Europe


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