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Meals-for-one - UK - December 2009

This report examines the eating habits of adults in OPHs. No one consumer product market will be examined, however, Mintel will explore a whole range of food products, with reference to how they fit into the daily eating patterns of people living on their own.

  • Almost half of One Person Households (OPHs) feel cooking from scratch is more economical than buying a ready meal, and they are likely to be cooking in bulk, and freezing the excess food.
  • Adults living on their own are more likely to complain about the expense of shopping for one, compared to two or more. Retailers need to factor in their needs when using store promotions.
  • OPHs are key targets for frozen foods companies as a third buy frozen foods to reduce wastage. But their usage of frozen food products, such as frozen vegetables, chips and fish products, is lower than larger households, highlighting an opportunity for manufacturers to run cross promotions in the frozen food aisles to increase usage among smaller households.
  • Faced with rising food costs, over 65yr olds in OPHs are more brand loyal and are less likely to buy more own label food items than other age groups
  • Men in OPHs feel it is not worth cooking a proper meal if you live on your own. But this group view ready meals as being good value for money, providing a key target for ready meals suppliers.
  • Almost a quarter of OPHs have cut back on luxury items/treats faced with rising food costs. Retailers should ensure these items are included in store promotions, positioned as ‘affordable treats’ even where budgets may be tight.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
          • Consumer research
          • Future Opportunities

              • To scratch cook or not to scratch cook?
                • (You’re not) all by yourself!
                  • Because men like ready meals – and they like them big
                    • Man-sized and without compromise
                      • The girl’s night in
                        • Whatever takes my fancy
                        • Market in Brief

                          • Growth in OPHs
                            • OPHs live on a lower income
                              • How OPHs shop for food
                                • Cooking habits of OPHs
                                  • Convenience food consumption
                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Trying out something new
                                        • Figure 1: Trends for food statements – all adults and OPHs, 2005-09
                                      • Looking for convenience
                                        • Figure 2: Trends for food statements – all adults and OPHs, 2005-09
                                      • Loyalty to brands
                                        • Figure 3: Trends in attitudes towards brands – all adults and OPHs, 2005-09
                                      • Doing the food shopping
                                        • Figure 4: Trends in shopping habits – all adults and OPHs, 2005-09
                                      • Staying healthy
                                        • Figure 5: Trends in diet/health statements – all adults and OPHs, 2005-09
                                    • Broader Market Environment

                                      • Key points
                                        • One-person households on the increase
                                          • Figure 6: Trends in UK household size, 2004-14
                                        • Who lives in a one-person household?
                                          • Figure 7: Demographic profile of OPHs, 1999-2009
                                        • The changing household composition
                                          • Figure 8: UK population, by lifestage, 2004-14
                                      • Household Income and Expenditure

                                        • Key points
                                          • OPHs have a lower socio-economic status
                                            • Figure 9: Socio-economic composition of GB population, by household size, 2009
                                          • Income levels
                                            • Figure 10: Household income, by household size, 2009
                                          • How they spend their money
                                            • Figure 11: Weekly expenditure, by household composition, 2007
                                        • Convenience Food Consumption

                                          • Key points
                                            • Ready meals prove popular among OPHs
                                              • Figure 12: Use of selected convenience foods, by household size, 2009
                                            • Instant success for soup and beans
                                              • Figure 13: Use of selected convenience foods, by household size, 2009
                                            • Greater reliance on convenience foods in GB
                                              • Figure 14: Use of selected convenience foods in OPHs, by country, 2009
                                              • Figure 15: Use of selected convenience foods in OPHs, by country, 2009
                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                            • Key points
                                              • Portion control vs. single servings
                                                • Manufacturers offer OPHs more choice
                                                  • Figure 16: Percentage of launches, by category with the product claim ‘portionability’, January 2007-November 2009
                                                • Ready meals prove to be a key category for new launches
                                                • Food Shopping Habits

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Many OPHs shop less frequently…
                                                      • Figure 17: Frequency of buying groceries, by household size, 2009
                                                    • …but others are daily shoppers
                                                      • Figure 18: Consumer food shopping habits, by household size, September 2009
                                                    • OPHs opt for town centre shopping
                                                      • Figure 19: Type of shop used for major shopping, by household size, 2009
                                                    • Cost concerns override quality and local shopping
                                                      • Figure 20: Trends in shopping for food and household items – all adults and OPHs, 2005-09
                                                  • Food Consumption Habits

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • OPHs feature more women, older and less affluent shoppers
                                                        • Figure 21: Number of people living in household, September 2009
                                                      • OPHs less likely to cook from scratch
                                                        • Figure 22: Type of food eaten for the evening meal, by household size, September 2009
                                                    • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Food

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Expense deters some OPHs from cooking from scratch
                                                            • Figure 23: Attitudes towards food and food shopping, September 2009
                                                          • Third age cook extra, bulk buy
                                                            • Men value ready meals
                                                              • Light TV dinners are a popular all-round choice
                                                                  • Figure 24: Typical evening eating habits, by household size, September 2009
                                                              • The Consumer – Eating Habits

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Older, affluent shoppers stick to shopping habits
                                                                      • Figure 25: Effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, September 2009
                                                                    • Shoppers cut back through promotions, own-label and planning
                                                                      • Younger shoppers cut back, trade down
                                                                        • More home cooking, even for OPHs
                                                                          • Figure 26: Changes in cooking habits in the last year, by household size, May 2009
                                                                        • Most OPHs stick to one shopping habit
                                                                          • Figure 27: Repertoire of effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, September 2009
                                                                        • Tempting one-habit, list-making shoppers
                                                                          • Opportunities for affordable ready-to-cook dishes
                                                                            • Discount shoppers seek bulk goods
                                                                              • Many shoppers scaling back weekly spend
                                                                                • Figure 28: Effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, by repertoire of effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, September 2009
                                                                              • Consumers cut back on eating out
                                                                                • Figure 29: Impact of economic downturn on eating out, by household size, March 2009
                                                                            • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Figure 30: Marketing groups based on attitudes and lifestyles of OPHs, September 2009
                                                                              • Ready-to-go (28% of sample)
                                                                                • Well Prepared (28% of sample)
                                                                                  • Value Seekers (29% of sample)
                                                                                  • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                      • Figure 31: Consumer Price Index: All food, January 2007-September 2009
                                                                                  • Appendix – Broader Market Environment

                                                                                      • Figure 32: Percentage of house type in total new housing starts in Great Britain, 2004-08
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Working status of the GB population, by household size, 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 34: Demographic profile of OPHs, 1999-2009 (detailed table)
                                                                                  • Appendix – Changing Lifestyles

                                                                                      • Figure 35: Percentage of weekly expenditure, by household composition, 2007
                                                                                  • Appendix – Food Consumption

                                                                                      • Figure 36: Number of people living in household, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                  • Appendix – Consumption Habits

                                                                                      • Figure 37: Most popular effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 38: Next most popular effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, by demographics, September 2009 (continued)
                                                                                  • Appendix – Attitudes towards Food

                                                                                      • Figure 39: Most popular attitudes towards food and food shopping, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 40: Next most popular attitudes towards food and food shopping, by demographics, September 2009 (continued)
                                                                                  • Appendix – Eating Habits

                                                                                      • Figure 41: Repertoire of effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 42: Effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, by repertoire of effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, September 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 43: Attitudes towards food and food shopping, by most popular effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, September 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 44: Attitudes towards food and food shopping, by next most popular effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, September 2009 (continued)
                                                                                  • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                      • Figure 45: Target groups, by demographics, September 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 46: Attitudes towards food and food shopping, by target groups, September 2009
                                                                                      • Figure 47: Effect of food prices on food shopping habits in the last 12 months, by target groups, September 2009

                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                  • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                  • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                  • Bighams Ltd
                                                                                  • Birds Eye Foods
                                                                                  • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                  • Carlsberg UK Ltd
                                                                                  • Co-operative Group
                                                                                  • Findus Ltd [UK]
                                                                                  • Food Standards Agency
                                                                                  • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                  • HJ Heinz Company UK
                                                                                  • ITV plc
                                                                                  • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                  • Kellogg Company of GB Limited
                                                                                  • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                  • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                  • McCain Foods Limited
                                                                                  • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                  • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                  • Somerfield
                                                                                  • Tesco Plc
                                                                                  • Tropicana UK
                                                                                  • Waitrose
                                                                                  • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                  Meals-for-one - UK - December 2009

                                                                                  £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)