Prepared Meals - China - August 2014
“Busier lifestyle in urban has fuelled demand for prepared meals which are known for convenience. In general, higher tier cities/incomes/education consumers show higher demand in prepared meals. Segment consumption shows more distinctive differences. The core consumers for Chinese style prepared meals which include frozen/chilled dumplings/wontons, frozen/chilled buns and ready-made congee are families with children, whereas ready meals/noodles/rice including chilled/frozen/ room temperature that only requires heating are more appealing to younger singles. Western style prepared meals see increase uptake with higher incomes. There is also an increasing trend of purchasing via online.
There is still a wide range of potential to better meet consumers’ demand for convenience, ranging from user-friendly packaging, ease of preparation methods and accessible portability. This important element will help drive retail value growth of prepared meals which is estimated to grow by a value CAGR of 8.9% for 2014-19.
At the same time, consumers are increasingly emphasizing on the health and freshness factors of prepared meals. Prepared meals often face competition from home-cooked food and dining out, suggesting imitation from these recipes and methods of preparation, such as steam cooking could boost frequency usage. Reduce negative health concerns to build consumption confidence via product awareness through respectful events/personnel whereas transparency packaging could build a healthy and fresh image."
- Eileen Ngieng, Senior Research Analyst
This report answers the following questions:
- What can brands do to build consumption confidence?
- How can brands use transparent packaging to uplift fresh and healthier image?
- What more to venture into “convenient” aspects?
- Can multipacks appeal better to both families and singles?
- Can steam cooking be the answer to nutritious prepared meals?
- In order to uplift prepared meals health and fresh image, products denoting fresh and clean packaging as well as positioning as natural, good-for-you and safe and the use of language conjures perceptions of freshness will appeal more effectively.
- Prepared meal brands could look into innovations that make their products as convenient as possible in terms of portability, keeping fresh and warm/hot, such as flexible stand-up pouch, portable and versatile tub/pot, dual compartment meal kits and self-heating packaging.
- There are opportunities for prepared meal brands to introduce a wider range of prepared meals that reflect different needs.
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