The cooking ingredients and meals industry is predicted to see 3% growth in 2022, driven by inflationary pressures and hybrid lifestyles, resulting in consumers spending more time at home. This report looks at the key trends shaping the industry, including health and functionality, innovation in the plant-based segment and the increasing demand for experiences within the home, as well as convenient solutions that can aid the cooking journey.
This report comes in PPT.
Inflationary pressures are contributing to the strong value sales seen in the industry but will continue to pose challenges to volume growth in the near term. Changes in pack mix, reformulation and SKU rationalisation are being followed by manufacturers, while many consumers are becoming less brand loyal and downtrading.
Penetration of health claims remains small in the cooking ingredients and meals industry. Organic and clean label-related claims lead the way, but opportunities abound to develop offerings with functionality and attractive nutritional profiles. This can change the perception that certain meals and condiments are heavily processed.
Sales of cooking ingredients and meals through foodservice have still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Hybrid working arrangements and lower disposable incomes are benefiting the restaurant-at-home trend, as consumers increasingly look for in-home experiences that can replicate restaurant-style meals.
Cooking fatigue and time-poor lifestyles will make convenience a long-term strategy to win in the industry. Ready to eat, and simple to assemble heat-and-eat options are gaining ground. Prepared salads and offerings in chilled formats will drive growth in the meals space, benefiting from their natural and fresh image.
Plant-based innovation is intensifying in meals, sauces, dips and condiments. From a positioning perspective, vegan and vegetarian claims are used most in the industry, while many opportunities remain in using more holistic claims, such as plant-based.
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