Market researcher Canadean has released reports on the state of the ready meal market in three key European territories.
According to Canadean, Spain continues to suffer from the effect of the global economic crisis. Uncertainties surrounding the Euro has further impacted consumer spending. Spanish consumers are now turning to prepared meals, recording the third-fastest growth rate among food sectors between 2012 and 2017. They offer consumers an affordable alternative to eating out. The sector will record a value CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 3.4% and volume rate of 4.0%.
Ready meals are accounting for over half of the prepared meals sector in both value and volume shares, with 51.8% and 58.3%, The category is also forecast to record the highest growth level over the fiver year forecast period, with a value CAGR of 3.6% to 2017.
Pizza shares for volume and value, 43.5% and 37.9%. It will see a volume CAGR of 3.7% to 2017. Pizza is followed by meal kits, with a share of the sector at 3.1% value and 4.3% volume. However, its growth rate is forecast to reach 3.4% value and 4.0% volume.
Meal kits, which were introduced on the market in Sweden in 2007, consist of fresh, prepared, and packaged ingredients packed in a kit and delivered to the consumer. The consumer then cooks the ingredients using the instructions included with meal kits, with minimum hassle and no need for grocery shopping.
In France, ready meals are expected to dominate the prepared meals sector up to 2017, according to Canadean. The hectic pace of modern life has led consumers to value practicality and convenience in their daily food choices.
Despite a weak global economy, the prepared meals sector is one of the top five food sectors in France both by value and volume. The sector is expected to grow rapidly, at a CAGR of 3.64% by value and a CAGR of 3.31% by volume up to 2017.
The category is led by ready meals which took the highest share of value and volume in 2012. This trend is expected to continue up to 2017. The share of ready meals in the prepared meals sector will rise to 77.6% in value and 77.3% in volume respectively up to 2017, said Canadean. A CAGR of 3.86% by value and 3.52% by volume is also predicted.
Pizza comes in second in the prepared meals sector but falls far behind with an expected share of 20.8% by value and a CAGR of 2.92% up to 2017. Share of volume is predicted at 21.5%, growing at a CAGR of 2.61%.
The meal kits category is the smallest in the sector both by value and volume. The share of value is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.15% and 2.61% in terms of volume up to 2017. Even with these growth rates, the share of value and volume for the Meal kits category continues to be minimal.
In Germany, the relative newcomer onto the prepared meals sector, meal kits, are set to grow faster than the top two prepared meals categories, ready meals and pizza, although these top two will retain their rankings up to 2017.
The prepared meals sector continues to grow in Germany, with a projected value CAGR of 2.0% to 2017. Volumes will grow at a CAGR of 2.3% for the same period. Although meal kits took the lowest share of the sector in 2012, with value and volume shares of 1.6% and 1.4% respectively, increasing awareness of the relatively new product among German consumers along with greater variety of choice will lead the category to show the highest value and volume growth of prepared meals to 2017, with value and volume CAGRs of 2.4 and 2.6% respectively to 2017, according to Canadean.
Although ready meals held the largest share of the sector in 2012, with value and volume shares of 62.4 and 64.2% respectively, their growth will lag slightly behind meal kits up to 2017, at value and volume CAGRs of 2.2% and 2.4%. Pizza, with value and volume shares of 36% and 34.4% in 2012, will show the lowest growth in the next five years with value and volume CAGRs of 1.5% and 2.0% up to 2017.