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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?

Prepared Meals-Trends

  • 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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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Methodology
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                  • Figure 1: Volume sales of prepared meals in China, 2009-19
                  • Figure 2: Value sales of prepared meals in China, 2009-19
                • Companies and brands
                  • Figure 3: Market share of top companies in prepared meals, by value % share, 2013
                  • Figure 4: Market share of top companies in prepared meals, by volume % share, 2013
                • The consumer
                  • Popularity of different prepared meals
                    • Figure 5: Frequency of eating prepared meals, May 2014
                  • Reasons for choosing prepared meals
                    • Figure 6: Reasons for eating prepared meals, May 2014
                  • Reasons for rarely or not eating
                    • Figure 7: Reasons for rarely or not eating prepared meals, May 2014
                  • Purchase locations
                    • Figure 8: Locations of purchasing prepared meals, May 2014
                  • Key purchasing factors
                    • Figure 9: Three top factors to purchase prepared meals, May 2014
                  • Attitudes towards prepared meals
                    • Figure 10: Agreement with prepared meals statements, May 2014
                  • Key issues
                    • 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?
                              • What we think
                              • Issues and Insights

                                  • What can brands do to build consumption confidence?
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • How can brands use transparent packaging to uplift fresh and healthier image?
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Figure 11: Transparent packaging in China, 2013-14
                                              • Figure 12: Transparent packaging reassures food freshness and quality, UK and South Africa, 2013-14
                                            • What more to venture into “convenient” aspects?
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                  • Figure 13: Flexible stand-up pouch for shelf stable prepared meals, Spain and US, 2012-13
                                                  • Figure 14: Dual compartment and portable tub for on-the-go convenience, Germany and France, 2013-14
                                                • “Whistling” technology ease preparation
                                                  • Can multipacks appeal better to both families and singles?
                                                    • The facts
                                                      • The implications
                                                        • Can steam cooking be the answer to nutritious prepared meals?
                                                          • The facts
                                                            • The implications
                                                                • Figure 15: John West Steam Pot, UK, 2014
                                                            • Trend Applications

                                                                • Factory Fear
                                                                  • Transumers
                                                                    • Many Mes
                                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Market size
                                                                          • Figure 16: Retail volume and value of China’s prepared meals market, 2009-19
                                                                        • Market drivers
                                                                          • Busier lifestyles fuel growth of prepared meals for its convenience
                                                                            • Figure 17: Share of in home food in total consumer spending and share of prepared meals in total in home food, China, Brazil, UK, and US, 2013
                                                                          • Rise of modern trade facilitates, growth of refrigerator and microwaves ownership
                                                                            • Figure 18: Average ownership of kitchen appliances per 100 urban and rural households (units), 2008-12
                                                                          • Government implements will help improve cold chain system
                                                                            • Market barriers
                                                                              • Concerns over ingredients hinder growth
                                                                                • Consumers become more cautious about food safety
                                                                                  • Cold chain logistics is still under developed
                                                                                    • Market forecast
                                                                                      • Figure 19: Volume sales of prepared meals, 2009-19
                                                                                      • Figure 20: Value sales of prepared meals in China, 2009-19
                                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                                    • Market Segmentation

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Frozen meals dominate the market
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Prepared meals retail value and volume share, by segment, China 2014
                                                                                        • Frozen meals face stiff competition
                                                                                          • Frozen pizza benefits from pizza foodservices
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Retail volume and value sales of prepared meals market, by segment, China 2009 -14
                                                                                          • Shelf stable meals venturing into premiumisation to boost uptake
                                                                                            • Chilled foods is expected to see the most significant segment growth
                                                                                              • Future growth prospect
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Retail volume and value sales of prepared meals market forecast, by segment, China 2014 -19
                                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • A highly fragmented market
                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Leading companies in prepared meals market, % share by retail value and volume, 2012-13
                                                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • New brand/line launches and variety extension lead innovation
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: New product launches by launch type in prepared meals market, China 2011-13
                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Kaihai’s new packaging for its frozen dumplings, China, 2013
                                                                                                  • Opportunities to explore benefits other than convenience
                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Top ten claims in prepared meals new product launch, China 2011-13
                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Top ten claims in frozen/chilled pizza new product launch, China, 2011-13
                                                                                                  • Wanchai Ferry breakthroughs with crystal tangyuan
                                                                                                    • Sanquan on premiumization and introduces regional flavours dumplings
                                                                                                      • Synear pioneers in fruit flavoured tangyuan and kids dumplings
                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Examples of Synear fruit flavoured tangyuan and kids dumplings, China, 2014
                                                                                                      • Synear highlights traditional Chinese cuisine heritage on its products
                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Examples of Synear Zhong Hua Mian Dian series, China 2014
                                                                                                      • Nestlé’s Yinlu premium congee saves the struggling segment
                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Yinlu’s “Hao Zhou Dao” premium congee, 2013
                                                                                                      • Foodservices brands expanding to the retail market
                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Bifentang new variety/range extension prepared meals, 2014
                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Examples of new Ajisen ramen products, 2014
                                                                                                      • Online retailing shows important future growth
                                                                                                        • Local brands also launch western style prepared meals
                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Examples of western style prepared meals introduced by Chinese local brands, 2013
                                                                                                        • Family Mart New Ready Meals
                                                                                                        • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                          • Zhengzhou Sanquan Food Co., Ltd.
                                                                                                            • General Mills, Inc.
                                                                                                              • Zhengzhou Synear Food Co., Ltd.
                                                                                                                • Nestlé S.A.
                                                                                                                  • Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co., Ltd.
                                                                                                                    • Dr Oetker Ltd
                                                                                                                    • The Consumer - Popularity of Different Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Chinese style prepared meals enjoy best popularity
                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months, May 2014
                                                                                                                        • Consumption of Chinese style prepared meals mainly by families with children
                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Chinese style prepared meals had in the last 3 months, by family status, May 2014
                                                                                                                        • Ready meals favoured by young singles with high incomes
                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Ready meals/noodles/rice had in the last 3 months, by age, income and marital status, May 2014
                                                                                                                        • Consumption of western style prepared meals goes up with income
                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Chilled or frozen pizza/pie had in the last 3 months, by monthly personal income, May 2014
                                                                                                                        • Higher tier cities show higher demands for prepared meals
                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Selected prepared meals had in the last 3 months, by city tier, May 2014
                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Reasons for Choosing Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Many factors make prepared meals fit with the modern lifestyle
                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Reasons for eating prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                          • Prepared meals fit well into modern lifestyles for singles and families differently
                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Reasons for eating prepared meals – factors associated with singles lifestyles, by age and marital status, May 2014
                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Reasons for eating prepared meals – factors associated with married lifestyles, by family status, May 2014
                                                                                                                          • “Value for money” is perceived differently by males and females
                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Reasons for eating prepared meals – price factor, by gender, May 2014
                                                                                                                          • Higher income earners are willing to pay for taste
                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Reasons for eating prepared meals – taste factors, by monthly personal income, May 2014
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Reasons For Rarely Or Not Eating

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Unhealthy and unfresh perceptions limit appeal
                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Reasons for rarely or not having prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                            • Differences between men and women
                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Selected reasons for rarely or not having prepared meals, by gender, May 2014
                                                                                                                            • Many ways to address the price factor
                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Reasons for rarely or not having prepared meals – price factor, by income and city tier, May 2014
                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Purchase Locations

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Supermarkets losing out to online retailers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Locations of purchasing prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Online shopping for prepared meals, by family status and city tier, May 2014
                                                                                                                              • Younger consumers prefer convenience stores
                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Purchasing prepared meals via convenience store, by age and family status, May 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Convenience stores of purchasing prepared meals, by city tier, May 2014
                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Key Purchasing Factors

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Consumers want prepared meals to be both tasty and nutritious
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Top three purchasing factors for prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                                • High and low earners pay attention to different things
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Selected purchasing factors for prepared meals, by income and education, May 2014
                                                                                                                                • Families with children pay more attention towards nutrition and speedy preparation
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Selected factors for purchasing prepared meals, by family status, May 2014
                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Transparency in communication build product consumption confidence
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Agreement with prepared meals statements – product information and promotion related, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Consumers want products “designed especially for them”
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Agreement with prepared meals statements – more customized options, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Market potential among the elderly and children
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Examples of senior-targeted prepared meals, Japan, 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Play with new packaging ideas
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Agreement with prepared meals statements – packaging related, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Married consumers from higher income/education groups wants both nutrition and taste and willing to pay for it
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Agreement with prepared meals statements – selected ingredients focus, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Use healthy ingredients to enhance nutrition value
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Agreement with prepared meals statements – selected ingredients focus, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Taste potential with flavours customization and innovation
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix - Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Retail value sales of prepared meals in China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Retail volume sales of prepared meals in China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Value sales of prepared meals in China, by segment, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Volume sales of prepared meals in China, by segment, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Value sales of non-pizza frozen meals, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Value sales of frozen pizza, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Value sales of shelf stable other meals, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Value sales of chilled other meals, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Volume sales of non-pizza frozen meals, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Volume sales of frozen pizza, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Volume sales of shelf stable other meals, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Volume sales of chilled other meals, China, 2009-19
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Popularity of Different Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months, May 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Ready meals/noodles/rice (including chilled/frozen and room temperature, only requires heating), by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Chilled or frozen buns, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Chilled or frozen dumplings/wontons, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Chilled or frozen meats, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 79: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Chilled or frozen vegetable based meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 80: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Ready-made soups (including chilled/frozen and room temperature), by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 81: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Ready-made congee, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 82: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Chilled or frozen pizza/pie, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 83: Prepared meals had in the last 3 months – Meal kits, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Repertoire analysis
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 84: Repertoire of prepared meals had in the last 3 months, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 85: Repertoire of prepared meals had in the last 3 months, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Reasons for Choosing Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 86: Reasons for eating prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 87: Most popular reasons for eating prepared meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 88: Next most popular reasons for eating prepared meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 89: Other reasons for eating prepared meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Reasons For Rarely Or Not Eating

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 90: Reasons for not having prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 91: Most popular reasons for not having prepared meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 92: Next most popular reasons for not having prepared meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 93: Other reasons for not having prepared meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix - Purchase Locations

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 94: Locations of purchasing prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 95: Most popular locations of purchasing prepared meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 96: Next most popular locations of purchasing prepared meals, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Key Purchasing Factors

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 97: Three top factors to purchase prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 98: Most popular three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 1, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 99: Next most popular three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 1, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 100: Other three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 1, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 101: Most popular three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 2, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 102: Next most popular three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 2, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 103: Other three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 2, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 104: Most popular three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 3, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 105: Next most popular three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 3, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 106: Other three top factors to purchase prepared meals – Rank 3, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 107: General attitude towards prepared meals, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 108: Agreement with the statement ‘Prepared meals made with premium ingredients are worth paying more for’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 109: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be interested in buying prepared meals using exotic recipes’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 110: Agreement with the statement ‘Prepared meals containing more portions of fruit and vegetables are appealing to me’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 111: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more prepared meals packed with extra side dishes’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 112: Agreement with the statement ‘Prepared meal products imported from the country they originate from taste more authentic’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 113: Agreement with the statement ‘There is a lack of various pack options of prepared meals for eating on-the-go’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 114: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more prepared meals that are easy to prepare’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 115: Agreement with the statement ‘Multipack prepared meals offer more advantages than single-pack ones’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 116: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more prepared meals designed for various occasions’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 117: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more prepared meals designed for a specific user group’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 118: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more promotional offers of prepared meals’, by demographics, May 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 119: Agreement with the statement ‘More information should be provided on the product labeling of prepared meals’, by demographics, May 2014

                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                    Prepared Meals - China - August 2014

                                                                                                                                    £3,170.69 (Excl.Tax)