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Prepared Meals - UK - May 2013

According to exclusive research for this report, two fifths of ready meal users do not plan to change their purchasing habits in the wake of the horse meat adulteration scandal. For the frozen ready meals segment, however, there has been a marked effect for implicated brands, while one in ten ready meal buyers plan to avoid frozen ready meals as a result. More pertinently for the long-term future of the wider sector, the scandal is likely to ingrain current scepticism of prepared meals’ content and further alienate lucrative (and growing) user groups such as over-55s and ABs.”

– Amy Price, Senior Food & Drink Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What is the impact of the horse meat adulteration scandal?
  • How can the industry overcome the health barrier facing prepared meals?
  • How can the market provide a convenient solution to home cooking?
  • What NPD opportunities are there for ethnic meals?
 

Prepared meals continue to enjoy high levels of popularity, with three in four consumers having bought into the category. Sales are estimated to reach £3.8 billion in 2012, with the market forecast to grow by 28.4% to a total of £4.9 billion in 2017.

The category benefits from its positioning as a convenient and relatively affordable meal solution, particularly appealing to consumers when they are pressed for time. Usage is skewed towards 25-34s, who are more likely to rate convenience highly.

The horse meat scandal has had a negative effect on some of the brands implicated in the scare, although a sizeable minority of consumers say that it will have no effect on their behaviour. The scandal is, however, likely to fuel current scepticism of prepared meals’ quality and further distance lucrative (and growing) user groups such as the over-55s and ABs.

Continuing investment in NPD and above-the-line support from own-label and branded players such as M&S, Heinz and Old El Paso will play a key role in keeping the category front of mind with the consumer going forward, while an emphasis on transparency will help to mitigate concerns over sourcing.

 

Prepared meals include meals where all the preparation has been done by the manufacturer and the meal just requires heating or cooking by conventional or microwave oven, crock pot, wok, etc. It includes:

  • Complete meals, which need no additional ingredients to be supplied by the consumer. Spaghetti Bolognese and curry with rice are typical examples of this category. Includes frozen, chilled and ambient ready meals.
  • Ready-to-cook foods, which are further-prepared/flavoured chilled foods specifically positioned on a platform of needing no further preparation on the part of the consumer other than opening the packet and cooking the product according to the on-pack instructions. The major multiples have developed their own specific sub-branded ranges of such foods with a view to assisting consumer selection at the fixture, such as the Sainsbury’s
  • Just Cook range, Asda’s Go Cook! range and Marks & Spencer’s Cook! range. It should be noted that some sectors of the trade use the terms ‘part prepared’ or ‘partially prepared foods’ – both terms are deemed to refer to ready-to-cook foods as defined for the purpose of this report.
 

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: UK retail value sales and forecast of prepared meals, pies and pasties, by value, 2007-17
            • The future
              • Market factors
                • Horse meat scandal
                  • A growing need to engage the older population
                    • Healthier variants would help to alleviate concerns
                      • Companies, brands and innovation
                        • Own-brand dominates the market
                          • Figure 2: Estimated brand shares in the UK chilled ready meals market, by value, 2012/13*
                        • NPD continues to drive the market
                          • Heinz dominates ad investment
                            • The consumer
                              • Three in four consumers purchase prepared meals
                                • Figure 3: Types of prepared meals bought, February 2013
                              • Frozen ready meals solicit strong negative perceptions
                                • Figure 4: Correspondence analysis, February 2013
                              • Sizeable minority say the horse meat scandal has had no effect on their behaviour
                                • Figure 5: Agreement with statements on purchasing of ready meals, February 2013
                              • Ready meals market faces barriers to consumption
                                • Figure 6: Agreement with statements on ready meals, February 2013
                              • Convenience is the key driver to usage
                                • Figure 7: Agreement with statements on prepared meals, February 2013
                              • What we think
                              • Issues in the Market

                                  • What is the impact of the horse meat adulteration scandal?
                                    • How can the industry overcome the health barrier facing prepared meals?
                                      • How can the market provide a convenient solution to home cooking?
                                        • What NPD opportunities are there for ethnic meals?
                                        • Trend Application

                                            • FSTR HYPR
                                              • Factory Fear
                                                • Futures: East Meets West
                                                • Market Drivers

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Horse meat adulteration scandal puts spotlight on sourcing of ingredients
                                                      • Consumer expenditure to slowly regain momentum
                                                        • Figure 8: Consumer expenditure at constant 2012 prices, 2007-17
                                                      • Convenience vs health
                                                        • Prepared meals appeal to time-poor consumers
                                                          • Health remains an issue for a sizeable minority
                                                            • Demographic changes
                                                              • Rise in number of one- and five-person households bodes well for the market
                                                                • Increase in number of 25-34s should support growth
                                                                • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                  • Strengths
                                                                    • Weaknesses
                                                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • NPD activity doubles over 2009-12
                                                                          • Figure 9: New product launches in prepared meals and meal kits, by segment, 2009-12
                                                                        • Storage formats remain a focus of NPD
                                                                          • Chilled meals dominate but frozen and shelf stable are seeing an increase
                                                                            • Figure 10: New product launches in prepared meals, by storage, 2009-12
                                                                          • Chilled meal kits overtake shelf stable formats
                                                                            • British claim gains greater relevance
                                                                              • Foodservice trends prove inspirational
                                                                                • Slimming versions become more popular
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Index of new product launches in prepared meals, by selected health claims, 2009-12
                                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Overall market sees steady growth
                                                                                    • Figure 12: UK retail value sales and forecast of prepared meals, pies and pasties, by value, 2007-17
                                                                                  • The future
                                                                                    • Figure 13: UK retail value sales and forecast of prepared meals, pies and pasties, by value, 2007-17
                                                                                  • Segmentation – chilled ready meals
                                                                                    • Figure 14: UK retail value sales and forecast of chilled ready meals, by value, 2007-17
                                                                                  • Segmentation – frozen ready meals
                                                                                    • Figure 15: UK retail value sales and forecast of frozen ready meals, by value, 2007-17
                                                                                  • Segmentation – ready-to-cook foods
                                                                                    • Figure 16: UK retail value sales and forecast of ready-to-cook foods, by value, 2007-17
                                                                                  • Segmentation – pies and pasties
                                                                                    • Figure 17: UK retail value sales and forecast of pies and pasties, by value, 2007-17
                                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                                  • Segment Performance

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Chilled ready meals dominate market
                                                                                        • Figure 18: UK retail value and volume sales of prepared meals, by category, 2010-12
                                                                                      • Standard varieties account for 80p in every £1
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Market segments in the chilled and frozen ready meals and ready to cook foods market, by type, 2010-12
                                                                                      • British cuisine dominates ready meals…
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Market segments in the chilled and frozen ready meals market, by value, by cuisine, 2010-12
                                                                                      • … and ready-to-cook foods
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Market segments in the ready to cook foods market, by value, by cuisine, 2010-12
                                                                                      • Hot pies hold the largest share within pies and pasties
                                                                                        • Figure 22: UK retail value and volume sales of pies and pasties, by type, 2011-12
                                                                                    • Market Share

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Own-label maintains grip on chilled ready meals…
                                                                                          • Figure 23: Estimated brands’ retail value and volume shares in chilled ready meals, 2011/12 and 2012/13
                                                                                        • … and ready-to-cook foods
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Estimated retail value shares in ready-to-cook chilled meals, by own-label and brands, 2011/12 and 2012/13
                                                                                        • The horse meat scandal hits frozen ready meals
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Estimated brands’ retail value and volume shares in frozen ready meals, 2011/12 and 2012/13
                                                                                      • Companies and Products

                                                                                        • Asda
                                                                                          • Birds Eye
                                                                                            • Findus Group
                                                                                              • Heinz
                                                                                                • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                  • Morrisons
                                                                                                    • Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                      • Tesco
                                                                                                        • Waitrose
                                                                                                          • Meal Kits
                                                                                                            • Discovery Foods
                                                                                                              • Old El Paso (General Mills)
                                                                                                                • Sharwood’s (Premier Foods)
                                                                                                                • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Total adspend falls as major players cut spend
                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Main monitored advertising expenditure in the UK prepared meals and meal kits market, 2009-12
                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Main monitored advertising expenditure in the UK prepared meals and meal kits market, by selected companies, 2009-12
                                                                                                                    • 2013 activity
                                                                                                                      • Meal kits are focus of brand expenditure
                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Monitored advertising expenditure in the UK prepared meals market, by top brands, 2012
                                                                                                                    • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Supermarkets dominate sales
                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Estimated consumer spending on prepared meals (including pizza), by type of retailer, 2012
                                                                                                                      • Consumer – General Cooking Habits

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Half an hour is the optimum time to spend cooking
                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Time spent and preferred time to spend, preparing and cooking a typical evening meal, February 2013
                                                                                                                            • Only one in five would prefer to spend 35+ minutes in the kitchen
                                                                                                                            • Consumer – Types of Prepared Meals Purchased

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Three quarters of adults purchase prepared meals
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Types of prepared meals bought, February 2013
                                                                                                                                  • 25-34s are the core users
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Types of prepared meals bought, by age, February 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Eating habits, by age, March 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Own-label dominates usage trends
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Types of prepared meals bought, by own-label vs branded, February 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Notable crossover between prepared meals
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Crossover in purchasing of chilled ready meals, frozen ready meals and ready-to-cook foods, February 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Consumer – Perceptions of Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Frozen ready meals solicit strong negative perceptions
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Correspondence analysis, February 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Positive attributes for chilled ready meals and ready-to-cook foods
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Selected words associated with chilled ready meals, by gender, February 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Meal kits could market the notion of indulgence
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Selected words associated with meal kits, by presence of children in household and household size, February 2013
                                                                                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Attitudes Towards Ready Meals Following the Horse Meat Scandal

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Sizeable minority say the horse meat scandal has had no effect on their behaviour
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Agreement with statements on purchasing of ready meals, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                  • Around a fifth of users plan to avoid ready meals containing beef
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Attitudes towards protein and foods high in protein, by gender, November 2012
                                                                                                                                                    • Meals containing British meat need to reassure consumers
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Attitudes Towards Ready Meals

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Ready meals market faces several barriers to consumption
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Agreement with statements on ready meals, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • A third limit consumption over health concerns
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Index of agreement with the statement ‘I limit how often I eat ready meals because they are not healthy’, by gender, age and socio-economic group (average = 100), February 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Solo dining is a driver for one in three ready meal occasions
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Agreement with the statement ‘I mainly have ready meals when eating on my own’, by age and household size, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer Attitudes Towards Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Convenience is the key driver to usage
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Agreement with statements on prepared meals, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumers are more habitual than adventurous
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more prepared meals from different cuisines (eg Moroccan)’, by age, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Meal accompaniments could drive usage
                                                                                                                                                                    • Smaller households are incentivised to bulk buy when on promotion
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Agreement with the statement ‘I tend to stock up on prepared meals when they are on promotion’, by household size, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2012 prices, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: UK households, by size, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: New product launches in meal kits, by storage, 2009-12
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: New product launches in shelf-stable prepared meals, by package type, 2009-12
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: New product launches in prepared meals, by top 10 claims, 2009-12
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Best- and worst-case forecasts for prepared meals and pies and pasties, by value retail sales, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Best- and worst-case forecasts for chilled ready meals, by value retail sales, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: UK chilled ready meals value market size and forecast, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Best- and worst-case forecasts for frozen ready meals, by value retail sales, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: UK frozen ready meals value market size and forecast, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Best- and worst-case forecasts for ready-to-cook foods, by value retail sales, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: UK ready-to-cook foods value market size and forecast, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Best- and worst-case forecasts for pies and pasties, by value retail sales, 2012-17
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: UK pies and pasties value market size and forecast, 2007-17
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Monitored advertising expenditure in the UK prepared meals market, by top brands, 2009-12
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Consumer – General Cooking Habits

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Time spent preparing and cooking a typical evening meal, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Preferred time to spend preparing and cooking a typical evening meal, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Consumer – Types of Prepared Meals Purchased

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Types of prepared meals bought, by type, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Types of any own-label prepared meals bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Types of ‘any prepared meals’ bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Types of any ready meals bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Types of any meal kit bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Types of chilled ready meal bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 72: Types of frozen ready meals bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 73: Types of ready meal stored at room temperature bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 74: Types of chilled meal kit bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Types of meal kits stored at room temperature bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 76: Types of ready-to-cook foods bought, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 77: Crossover in purchasing of chilled ready meals, frozen ready meals and ready-to-cook foods, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Consumer – Perceptions of Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Words associated with prepared meals, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Most popular words associated with chilled ready meals, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Next most popular words associated with chilled ready meals, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Other words associated with chilled ready meals, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Most popular words associated with frozen ready meals, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Next most popular words associated with frozen ready meals, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Other words associated with frozen ready meal, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Most popular words associated with ready-to-cook foods, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Next most popular words associated with ready-to-cook foods, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Other words associated with ready-to-cook foods, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Most popular words associated with meal kits, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Next most popular words associated with meal kits, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Other words associated with meal kits, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix - Consumer – Attitudes Towards Ready Meals Following the Meat Adulteration Scandal

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Agreement with statements on purchasing ready meals following meat adulteration, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Agreement with statements on purchasing ready meals following meat adulteration, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Consumer Attitudes Towards Ready Meals

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 93: Agreement with most popular statements on ready meals, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 94: Agreement with next most popular statements on ready meals, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Consumer Attitudes Towards Prepared Meals

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 95: Agreement with most popular statements on prepared meals, by demographics, February 2013
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Agreement with next most popular statements on prepared meals, by demographics, February 2013

                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                  • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                  • Birds Eye Foods
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blackstone Group (The)
                                                                                                                                                                  • Discovery Foods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                  • Dovecote Park
                                                                                                                                                                  • Findus Ltd [UK]
                                                                                                                                                                  • General Mills Inc
                                                                                                                                                                  • Heston Blumenthal
                                                                                                                                                                  • HJ Heinz Company UK
                                                                                                                                                                  • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                  • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                  • Kerry Foods
                                                                                                                                                                  • Leiths School of Food and Wine
                                                                                                                                                                  • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                  • Marks & Spencer (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                  • Paulig Group
                                                                                                                                                                  • Permira Advisers Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                  • Premier Foods plc
                                                                                                                                                                  • Tesco (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                  • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                  • Weight Watchers Ltd. (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                  • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                                  Prepared Meals - UK - May 2013

                                                                                                                                                                  £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)