Chilling news for frozen meals

by 5m Editor
1 July 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Sales of chilled ready meals are now twice that of frozen meals, according to the latest figures contained in the Meat and Livestock Commission's Meat Demand Trends.

The UK consumes more ready meals than than any other country in Europe.

About 30 per cent of adults in the UK eat at least one ready meal a week and the ready meals market is the most dynamic within the processed meat sector.

As well as looking in detail at the ready meals sector, the publication has a special feature on UK consumer attitudes to food, as well as regular features which analyse:

  • Meat and livestock prices

  • UK and EU economic indicators

  • Expenditure and meat consumption.

Copies of Meat Demand Trends are 340 each and can be obtained from Jill Morgan at [email protected] or call 01908 844396.

Additional Information

The market for ready meals
The chilled ready meal market has shown very strong growth in recent years and is now twice the size of the frozen ready meal market. Chilled ready meal sales totalled 31.4 billion in 2003.

In addition to the convenience factor, demand has been driven by consumers' perception of quality.

Restaurants and takeaways have provided the inspiration for the recipes used in many chilled meals and they provide the quality benchmark at which suppliers aim.

Marks and Spencer pioneered the chilled ready meals market and was the dominant retailer for many years. However, Tesco overtook it in 2003 with 25 per cent of sales. Unlike the frozen sector, own-label products dominate the chilled market.

This special feature looks at the different types of ready meals, identifying that 'lasagne' is the nation's favourite dish. It explores the growth in meat based ready meals over the last five years. (Poultry meat based dishes have taken market share away from beef based dishes.)

Consumer attitudes to food in the UK Based on the results of a Food Standards agency (FSA) study, this article looks at the sources of food shopping and the frequency of food shopping in the UK. Differences between the various social-economic groups are identified. It also presents findings on the frequency of meals eaten as a family unit, identifying that 50 per cent of the population eat together once a day but for those in the higher social groups there is a higher frequency.

The study also covers consumers' attitudes to eating out. Takeaways were identified as the most commonly frequented foodservice establishments in 2003. Again there are differences between the various age and cultural groups.

This special article goes on to look at the types of food consumed regularly, occasionally or never, and then at consumers' attitudes to organic food.

Source: Meat and Livestock Commission - 1st July 2004

5m Editor