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Ready Meals - Ireland - November 2012

The ready meals category within Ireland is experiencing growth led by the popularity of ready-to-cook products and increasing product development within chilled ready meals. However, the category still suffers from an unhealthy image and as Irish consumers become increasingly concerned about their health, future growth within the category will centre on ready meals improving positive health perceptions of the category among consumers. In addition, ready meals are perceived as an expensive meal option and this factor alone has the potential to negatively impact both value and volume growth particularly in RoI where consumer food budgets are squeezed and the ready meals market is less buoyant.

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • What impact does the current food retailing environment have on ready meals consumption?
  • Is the ready meals category dominated by own-label products?
  • Is there a negative stigma attached to ready meals and what are the top considerations for Irish consumers when purchasing ready meals?
  • What are the current innovations within the ready meals category?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes within the report
        • Definition
          • Consumer research
            • Abbreviations
            • Trend Applications

              • Guiding Choice
                • Cool Vending
                  • 2015 Trend: Brand Intervention
                  • Market in Brief

                    • All-Ireland ready meals market bolstered by NI sales
                      • Ready meals need an image makeover
                        • Pizza number one category of ready meal purchased
                        • Internal Market Environment

                          • Key points
                            • Ready meal consumption declining
                              • Figure 1: Ready meals* (chilled or frozen) consumption by main shopper, NI and RoI, 2007-12
                            • Inflation masks decreased consumer spending on grocery items
                              • Figure 2: Grocery retail sales, NI and RoI, 2007-12
                              • Figure 3: Selected factors that concern Irish consumers, RoI and NI, September 2012
                            • Consumer engagement with home cooking
                              • Figure 4: Agreement with the statement ‘In my home a lot of time is spent preparing foods’, NI and RoI, 2007-12
                            • Emphasis on authenticity to expand ready meal appeal
                              • Frozen food lacks credibility with Irish consumers
                                • Figure 5: Agreement with the statement ‘Frozen foods are as good as fresh foods’, NI and RoI, 2007-12
                              • Unified food labelling to be in place in NI by 2013
                                • Irish consumers acknowledge need to improve their health
                                  • Figure 6: Agreement with the lifestyle statement ‘I should do more about my health’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                • Ready meals face price increases due to limited global grain supplies
                                  • Discounters’ increased range of ready meals will drive value within the category
                                    • Figure 7: Top three outlets consumers have completed a top-up shop in within the last month, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                    • Figure 8: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to see more local foods grown/produced where I live when grocery shopping’, by gender and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                • Broader Market Environment

                                  • Key points
                                    • Unemployment remains high in Ireland
                                      • Figure 9: Economic outlook, NI and RoI, 2010-13
                                    • NI consumer outlook more positive than their counterparts in RoI
                                      • Figure 10: Consumer Confidence, NI, June 2009-September 2012
                                      • Figure 11: Consumer sentiment index, RoI, June 2009 -November 2012
                                    • Irish household size decreasing
                                      • Figure 12: Projected households, by size, NI, 2008-23
                                      • Figure 13: households, by size, RoI, 1996-2011
                                    • Over 20% of the Irish population will be over-55s by 2016
                                      • Figure 14: Population, by age, NI, 2008-24
                                      • Figure 15: Population, by age, RoI, 2006-26
                                      • Figure 16: Agreement with the statement 'Ready meals are a convenient alternative when I am too busy/tired to cook', by age, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                    • Strengths
                                      • Weaknesses
                                      • Competitive Context

                                        • Key points
                                          • ‘From scratch’ cooking eating into ready meals market
                                            • Figure 17: Agreement with the statement ‘I love cooking’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2011 and 2012
                                          • Restaurant frequency down but still popular with Irish consumers
                                            • Figure 18: Consumers who have eaten out in restaurants within the last 12 months, NI and RoI, 2010-12
                                          • Quick-service restaurant sales will grow up to 2015
                                            • Figure 19: Quick-service and full-service restaurant market value, all Ireland, 2008-15
                                          • Over 49% of Irish consumers enjoy takeaway meals
                                            • Figure 20: Agreement with the statement ‘I like to eat takeaway food’, NI and RoI, 2007-12
                                            • Figure 21: Agreement with the statement ‘I like to eat takeaway food’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                          • Key points
                                            • Ready meals market shows positive growth despite downturn
                                              • Figure 22: Market size of ready meals*, all-Ireland, 2007-17
                                              • Figure 23: Index growth in grocery retailing vs ready meals, all-Ireland, 2007-17
                                            • Frozen ready meals stifling category growth
                                              • Chilled ready meals dominate the ready meals category
                                                • Figure 24: Segmentation of the ready meals market, by three main sub-sectors, IoI, 2012
                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                              • Key points
                                                • Own-label meal and meal centres at forefront of NPD
                                                  • Figure 25: Private-label and non-private-label meal and meal centre launches, UK and Ireland, 2007-12
                                                • No additives/preservatives is the top claim for own-label meal and meal centres
                                                  • Figure 26: Top ten claim types for private-label meal and meal centres, UK and Ireland, 2007-12
                                                • Microwaveable is the top brand claim since 2008
                                                  • Figure 27: Top ten claim types for non-private-label meal and meal centres, UK and Ireland, 2007-12
                                                • Increased own-label ranges focusing on children’s five-a-day consumption
                                                  • Vegetarian products invade the market
                                                    • Protein meal pots target both the lunch and evening meal occasion
                                                      • Meal centres engaging in the in-home dining trend
                                                      • Companies and Products

                                                          • Asda
                                                            • Company background
                                                              • Recent activity
                                                                • Product range and innovation
                                                                  • Marketing and promotion
                                                                    • Heinz
                                                                      • Company background
                                                                        • Recent activity
                                                                          • Product range and innovation
                                                                            • Marketing and promotion
                                                                              • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                • Company background
                                                                                  • Recent activity
                                                                                    • Product range and innovation
                                                                                      • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                        • Sainsbury’s
                                                                                          • Company background
                                                                                            • Recent activity
                                                                                              • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                  • Tesco
                                                                                                    • Company background
                                                                                                      • Recent activity
                                                                                                        • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                          • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                            • Findus Group
                                                                                                              • Company background
                                                                                                                • Recent activity
                                                                                                                  • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                    • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                      • SuperValu
                                                                                                                        • Company background
                                                                                                                          • Recent activity
                                                                                                                            • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                              • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                • Superquinn
                                                                                                                                  • Company background
                                                                                                                                    • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                      • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                        • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                          • Dunnes Stores
                                                                                                                                            • Company background
                                                                                                                                              • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                                  • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                                    • The Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                      • Company background
                                                                                                                                                        • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                          • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                                            • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                                              • Daily Bake
                                                                                                                                                                • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                  • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                    • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                                                      • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                                                        • Weight Watchers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                            • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                              • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                                                                • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kerry Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Company background
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Recent activity
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Product range and innovation
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Purchase Type and Frequency of Use of Ready Meals

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pizza leads ready meal purchases
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: How often respondents purchase selected types of ready meals, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: How often respondents purchase selected types of ready meals, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Pizza appeals most to under-45s
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Frequency of purchase of frozen/chilled pizza ready meals at least once a week, by gender and age, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Men strongest supporters of traditional ready meals
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Agreement with the statement ‘I like to try out new food products’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Frequency of purchase of traditional ready meals at least once a week, by gender and age, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Agreement with the statement ‘I like to eat foods from places where I have travelled to’, by age, NI and RoI, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Traditional ready meals more popular than ethnic varieties
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Frequency of purchase of ethnic ready meals, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Consumption of ethnic ready meals, NI and RoI, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Consumption of ethnic cuisines in home and out of home, NI and RoI, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ethnic ready meal consumption hindered by fear of dislike
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Diet/low-calorie/low-fat ready meals fail to attract consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: How often respondents purchase selected ranges of ready meals, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Ready Meals

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Convenience driving ready meal sales while expense hinders sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Agreement with selected statements relating to ready meals, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Agreement with the statements ‘Ready meals are expensive’ and ‘Ready meals are a convenient option when I am too busy/tired to cook’, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ready meals are an expensive meal option
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Agreement with the statement ‘Ready meals are expensive’, by gender, socio-economic group and age, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Convenience factor an incentive for half of Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Agreement with the statement ‘Ready meals are a convenient alternative when I am too busy/tired to cook’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ready meal consumption suffering from interest in cooking from scratch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Agreement with the statement ‘Cooking from scratch is often as quick as preparing ready meals’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Agreement with the statement ‘I really look after my health’, by gender, NI and RoI, 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Ready meals have yet to gain positive health associations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Agreement with the statements ‘Ready meals are unhealthy’ and ‘Ready meals are healthier than they used to be’, by gender, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Agreement with the following changes/innovations that consumers would like to see more of in grocery retailers, by gender, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Agreement with the statement ‘A larger selection of healthy foods aimed at children’, by age of children in the household, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Meal deals lack the appeal of dining outside the home
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Agreement with the statement ‘Ready meal deals (eg Marks &Spencer’s Dine in for £10) are just as good as going out for dinner’, by gender and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Agreement with the statement ‘The economic climate has seen me host more in-home events/gatherings’, by gender, age and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Packaging of ready meals should not be thrown to one side
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Agreement with statements relating to the packaging of ready meals, by socio-economic group, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Agreement with the statement ‘Labels that tell me how eco-friendly one product is versus another (including packaging and ingredients)’, by gender and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Typologies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • NI target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: NI consumer typologies, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Convenience Lovers (32%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Understanding Convenience Lovers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Health Orientated (27%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Understanding Health Orientated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Environmentally Aware (23%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Understanding Environmentally Aware
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cost Conscious (18%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Understanding Cost Conscious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • RoI target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: RoI consumer typologies, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Self-betterment Supporters (39%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Understanding Self-betterment Supporters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Time-Pushed (25%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Understanding Time-Pushed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cooking Advocates (18%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Understanding Cooking Advocates
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ethically Minded (18%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Understanding Ethically Minded
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • RoI Toluna tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Frequency of purchase of soup ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Frequency of purchase of Italian ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Frequency of purchase of Indian ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Frequency of purchase of Chinese ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Frequency of purchase of side dish ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Frequency of purchase of vegetarian ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Frequency of purchase of Thai ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Frequency of purchase of traditional ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Frequency of purchase of frozen/chilled pizza ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Frequency of purchase of rice/noodle pouches (eg Express Rice) ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Frequency of purchase of premium own-label supermarket (eg Tesco Finest) ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Frequency of purchase of diet/low-calorie/low-fat ready meal (eg Weight Watchers) ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Agreement with statements relating to ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Agreement with statements relating to ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Agreement with statements relating to ready meals, by demographics, RoI, September 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Consumer typologies, by demographics, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Agreement with statements relating to ready meals, by consumer typologies, RoI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • NI Toluna tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Frequency of purchase of soup ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Frequency of purchase of Italian ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Frequency of purchase of Indian ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Frequency of purchase of Chinese ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Frequency of purchase of side dish ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Frequency of purchase of vegetarian ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Frequency of purchase of Thai ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Frequency of purchase of traditional ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Frequency of purchase of frozen/chilled pizza ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 79: Frequency of purchase of rice/noodle pouches (eg Express Rice) ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 80: Frequency of purchase of premium own-label supermarket (eg Tesco Finest) ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 81: Frequency of purchase of diet/low-calorie/low-fat ready meal (eg Weight Watchers) ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 82: Agreement with statements relating to ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 83: Agreement with statements relating to ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 84: Agreement with statements relating to ready meals, by demographics, NI, September 2012 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 85: Consumer typologies, by demographics, NI, September 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 86: Agreement with statements relating to ready meals, by consumer typologies, NI, September 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Centra (Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dobbies Garden Centres plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dunnes Stores
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Findus Ltd [UK]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • HJ Heinz Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jamie Oliver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kerry Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Leiths School of Food and Wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Foods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mace Group, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Musgrave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Spar (Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Superquinn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Supervalu Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Disney Store Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Weight Watchers International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Young's Bluecrest Seafood Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ready Meals - Ireland - November 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)