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Prepared Meals Review - UK - May 2016

“Boosting the nutritional benefits of prepared meals can tap into the current high interest in “positive nutrition” foods while helping to overturn the typically unhealthy image of these products. Within this, vegetables, superfoods, whole grains and ancient grains can play an increasingly important role, as well as foodie health trend such as spiralising and “faux carbs”.”
– Emma Clifford, Senior Food Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Demand for pizzas featuring flavour-enhancing and health-boosting ingredients within the dough
  • All-British ingredients can help to win the loyalty of the ‘grey pound’
  • Different formats of vegetables can create standout among women, with see-through packaging best-placed to display these

The prepared meals market was in a somewhat beleaguered state in 2013 and 2014. The “horsegate” scandal took its toll, contributing to a tarnished image for ready meals in particular, and competition from scratch cooking intensified. 2015 has seen the market turn a corner, and value sales returned to growth. Premiumisation and health emerged as key trends in innovation, aiming to overturn negative perceptions in terms of quality and healthiness.

Fortunes, however, have been mixed, between both segments and brands. Growth was enjoyed by frozen ready meals, pastry-based products and chilled soup, while ready to cook foods took a big hit. Meanwhile, one of the standout performances came from premium chilled ready meal brand Charlie Bighams, though this continues to play a marginal role in the overall market still.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: UK retail value sales of prepared meals, by segment, 2010 and 2015
            • Figure 2: UK retail value sales of prepared meals, 2009-19
          • Market factors
            • Competition from scratch cooking, but need for convenience is here to stay
              • Rise in real incomes is supporting premiumisation
                • Figure 3: Annual percentage change in CPI and AWE (regular pay), monthly basis, January 2012-July 2015
              • The ageing population: A threat or opportunity?
                • Companies and brands
                  • Brand performances point to trading up and new launch activity
                    • A resurgence in NPD
                      • No end to the decline in adspend on prepared meals
                        • The consumer
                          • High levels of usage of prepared meals
                            • Figure 4: Frequency of usage of prepared meals, by type, February 2016
                          • Prepared meals usage driven by the everyday evening meal occasion
                            • Figure 5: Occasions for eating prepared meals, February 2016
                            • Figure 6: Further occasions for eating prepared meals, February 2016
                          • Premium ingredients most likely to encourage trading up
                            • Figure 7: Factors consumers would be prepared to pay more for, February 2016
                          • Strong interest in health-boosting ingredients
                            • Figure 8: Interest in innovation in ready meals, February 2016
                          • Pizza with flavoured dough interests half of users
                            • Figure 9: Interest in innovation in pizza, February 2016
                          • Openness about sourcing of ingredients can build trust
                            • Figure 10: Attitudes towards prepared meals, February 2016
                          • Growth potential in meal kits
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Demand for pizzas featuring flavour-enhancing and health-boosting ingredients within the dough
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • All-British ingredients can help to win the loyalty of the ‘grey pound’
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Different formats of vegetables can create standout among women, with see-through packaging best-placed to display these
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                • Tentative growth in 2015 after two years of decline
                                                  • Mixed fortunes for the segments
                                                    • 14% growth forecast over 2015-20
                                                      • Competition from scratch cooking…
                                                        • …but the need for convenience is here to stay
                                                          • Rise in real incomes is supporting premiumisation
                                                            • The ageing population: A threat or an opportunity?
                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                              • Tentative growth in 2015 after two years of decline
                                                                • Figure 11: UK retail value sales of prepared meals, 2010-20
                                                                • Figure 12: UK retail value sales of prepared meals, by segment, 2010-20
                                                              • The future
                                                                  • Figure 13: UK retail value sales of prepared meals, 2010-20
                                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                                • A revival in frozen ready meals
                                                                  • Figure 14: UK retail value and volume sales of ready meals and ready-to-cook foods, by segment, 2013-15
                                                                • Ready to cook foods take a tumble
                                                                  • Volume and value growth in frozen pizza
                                                                    • Figure 15: UK retail value and volume sales of pizza, by sector, 2013-15
                                                                  • Chilled enjoys growth in the struggling soup market
                                                                    • Figure 16: UK retail value sales and share of soup, by sector, 2013-15
                                                                  • Pastry-based savoury dishes making a comeback
                                                                      • Figure 17: UK retail value sales and share of pies and pasties, by segment, 2013-15
                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                    • Scratch cooking creates strong competition…
                                                                      • …but still a need for convenience amid hectic lifestyles
                                                                        • The middle ground presents opportunities
                                                                          • Rise in real incomes is supporting premiumisation
                                                                            • Figure 18: Annual percentage change in CPI and AWE (regular pay), monthly basis, January 2012-July 2015
                                                                          • The ageing population is a threat to the prepared meals market
                                                                            • Figure 19: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2010-15 and 2015-20
                                                                          • Under-35s’ usage creates rosy long-term prospects
                                                                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Continued success for Charlie Bighams
                                                                              • Iceland’s Slimming World range grows own-label in frozen ready meals
                                                                                • Premium brands are the winners in pizza, pastries and soup
                                                                                  • A resurgence in NPD
                                                                                    • Premiumisation and healthiness are key trends in innovation
                                                                                      • No end to the decline in adspend on prepared meals…
                                                                                        • ...with pizza the exception
                                                                                        • Market Share

                                                                                          • Own-label dwarfs brands in chilled ready meals
                                                                                            • Charlie Bighams goes from strength to strength
                                                                                              • Figure 20: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK chilled ready meals market, by value and volume, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                              • Figure 21: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK chilled ready meals market, by value and volume, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                            • Bisto overtakes Weight Watchers in frozen ready meals
                                                                                              • Double-digit growth for Birds Eye and Sharwood’s
                                                                                                • Figure 22: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK frozen ready meals market, by value and volume, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK frozen ready meals market, by value and volume, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                              • Brands are squeezed out in ready to cook meals
                                                                                                • Figure 24: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK ready to cook meals market, by value and volume, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                              • Pizza Express is the star performer in pizza
                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK pizza market, by value and volume, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK pizza market, by value and volume, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                • Mixed performances in soup, with chilled brands up
                                                                                                  • Heinz struggles, Baxters defies the downfall of tinned soup
                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK soup market, by value, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Leading manufacturers’ sales and shares in the UK soup market, by value, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                  • Strong growth from Higgidy
                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Leading brands’ sales and shares in the UK chilled pies and pasties market, by value and volume, 2013/14-2015/16
                                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                  • A resurgence in NPD
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Share of NPD in the UK prepared meals market as a percentage of all launches in the food market, 2011-16
                                                                                                  • A rise in meal kit launches
                                                                                                    • Premiumisation
                                                                                                      • More exciting and premium toppings in pizza
                                                                                                        • Even dry soup is getting more premium
                                                                                                          • Superfoods featuring more in NPD…
                                                                                                            • …with chilled soup leading the way
                                                                                                              • High-protein claims reach a five-year high
                                                                                                                • High-profile activity in free-from
                                                                                                                • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                  • No end to the decline in adspend on prepared meals
                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on prepared meals, by segment, 2011-16*
                                                                                                                  • Heinz continues as the biggest spender in 2015…
                                                                                                                    • …and in Q1 2016
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on prepared meals, by top 10 advertisers (in 2015), 2011-15
                                                                                                                    • Adspend for Dr Oetker’s reaches five-year high in 2015
                                                                                                                      • A rise in spend for Old El Paso
                                                                                                                        • Nielsen Media Research coverage
                                                                                                                        • Brand Research

                                                                                                                            • What you need to know
                                                                                                                              • Brand map
                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, March 2016
                                                                                                                              • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Key metrics for selected brands, March 2016
                                                                                                                              • Brand attitudes: Heinz stands out for its good reputation, quality and trust
                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Attitudes, by brand, March 2016
                                                                                                                              • Brand personality: NCG is deemed to be most vibrant and ethical
                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Brand personality – Macro image, March 2016
                                                                                                                              • Charlie Bighams has the most connoisseur and special image
                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Brand personality – Micro image, March 2016
                                                                                                                              • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                • Heinz Soup has the most positive endorsement
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: User profile of Heinz Soup, March 2016
                                                                                                                                • NCG is perceived to be the most natural, healthy and wholesome
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: User profile of New Covent Garden Soup Co, March 2016
                                                                                                                                • Chicago Town has the most fun and indulgent image
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: User profile of Chicago Town, March 2016
                                                                                                                                • Goodfella’s brand personality echoes that of Chicago Town
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: User profile of Goodfella’s, March 2016
                                                                                                                                • Ginsters is regarded as accessible and traditional
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: User profile of Ginsters, March 2016
                                                                                                                                • The exclusivity of Charlie Bigham’s draws a high-earning crowd
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: User profile of Charlie Bigham’s, March 2016
                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                • High levels of usage enjoyed by prepared meals
                                                                                                                                  • Prepared meals usage driven by the everyday evening meal occasion
                                                                                                                                    • Soups rely mainly on lunchtime usage
                                                                                                                                      • Premium ingredients most likely to encourage trading up
                                                                                                                                        • Strong interest in health-boosting ingredients
                                                                                                                                          • Pizza with flavoured dough interests half of users
                                                                                                                                            • Openness about sourcing of ingredients can build trust
                                                                                                                                              • Growth potential in meal kits
                                                                                                                                              • Usage of Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                                • High levels of usage of prepared meals
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Frequency of usage of prepared meals, by type, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                • Ambient products are among the biggest losers in 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Overall usage of prepared meals, by type, February 2015 and February 2016
                                                                                                                                                • Men and under-45s are the most regular users
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Usage of prepared meals at least once a week, by type, by gender, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Usage of prepared meals at least once a week, by type, by age, February 2016
                                                                                                                                              • Usage Occasions

                                                                                                                                                • Prepared meals usage driven by the everyday evening meal occasion
                                                                                                                                                  • Scope to capitalise more on the family dining occasion
                                                                                                                                                    • Meal kits could be positioned more as a romantic meal option
                                                                                                                                                      • Pizza is a more popular weekend option
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Occasions for eating prepared meals, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Further occasions for eating prepared meals, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                      • Soups rely mainly on lunchtime usage
                                                                                                                                                      • Factors Deemed to be Worth Paying More For

                                                                                                                                                        • Premium ingredients most likely to encourage trading up
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Factors consumers would be prepared to pay more for, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                        • Over-55s most interested in British and local sourcing
                                                                                                                                                          • Scope for growth within organic and higher animal welfare products
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Selected factors consumers would be prepared to pay more for, by age group, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                          • 16-24s place most emphasis on accreditation
                                                                                                                                                          • Interest in Innovation in Ready Meals

                                                                                                                                                            • Strong interest in health-boosting ingredients…
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Interest in innovation in ready meals, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                            • Vegetables, superfoods and wholegrain ingredients attract interest
                                                                                                                                                              • Ancient grains are popular ingredients
                                                                                                                                                                • One in five under-45s interested in “raw” ready meals
                                                                                                                                                                  • Transparent packaging holds wide appeal
                                                                                                                                                                    • Scope for the development of small pots and pouches
                                                                                                                                                                    • Interest in Innovation in Pizza

                                                                                                                                                                      • Pizza with flavoured dough interests half of users
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Interest in innovation in pizza, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                                      • Customisation in pizza appeals
                                                                                                                                                                        • On-the-go pizza interests 37% of under-25s
                                                                                                                                                                          • Room for development of meat alternatives in pizza
                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                                                            • Prepared meals enable people to make the most of their free time
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Attitudes towards prepared meals, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                                            • Growth potential in meal kits
                                                                                                                                                                              • A focus on skills progression should resonate
                                                                                                                                                                                • Openness about sourcing of ingredients can build trust
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Efforts to enhance the poor image of prepared meals as natural
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the prepared meals market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the chilled ready meals market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the frozen ready meals market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the ready-to-cook foods market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the pies and pastries market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the pizza market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the soup market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                          To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Prepared Meals Review - UK - May 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                          £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)