A recent report by Research and Markets found that the market for ready-to-eat meals is expected to be valued at $143 billion by the year 2023. The report includes meals that are already prepared for consumption right out of packaging and instant ready meals like frozen foods and other microwave options.
Such findings are no surprise as consumer lifestyles become busier. The convenience of ready-to-eat products fits in perfectly with the lives of many people who do not have time to prepare fresh meals. Most products are affordable and come in varieties, making this option a great choice for those who are strapped for time and money. The preparation of these meals commonly involve a simple microwave heating process, while some do not require heating at all.
Many manufacturers are focusing on convenience as a factor in producing new products. CPG giant General Mills has started selling their popular cereal brands Golden Graham, Trix and Honey Nut Cheerios in bar form to provide convenient breakfast options to the many consumers that spend five minutes or less on breakfast. Future Market Insights recently said that the worldwide demand for on-the-go breakfast options was registered at more than $1 billion in 2015.
A recent report by marketing and sales agency, Acosta, found that the growing millennial market is rapidly becoming more interested in frozen food products. The report titled “The Future of Frozen,” found that 26 percent of consumers are shopping in the frozen food section more often than they did last year. The report highlighted millennials as the top consumers for this trend.
“Although most shoppers feel fresh food is healthier than frozen, each generational demographic has reported buying more frozen food than last year, including 43 percent of millennials; 27 percent of GenXers; 19 percent of Baby Boomers; and 19 percent of silents,” said the report.
Another form of ready-to-eat meals included in Research and Markets’ report are prepared meals or meals that just require assembly. Many major grocery stores are investing in their own line of meal kit and prepared foods. Whole foods started their line of meal kits recently with online and in store recipes and shopping lists. Kroger also recently launched their Prep+Pared kits with pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step instructions. Hot food tables are also a popular addition to grocery stores for consumers looking to purchase foods that require no work at all.
All of these ready-to-eat options have one thing in common, convenience. By focusing on convenience, manufactures are able to provide products that fit into the modern lifestyle, which in turn results in sales. It is likely that more ready-to-eat food variations will be hitting the grocery and digital shelves in the future.