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Prepared Meals - Frozen and Refrigerated - US - June 2018

"The prepared meals category has returned to growth as category competitors have responded to consumer interest in less-processed offerings and greater cuisine variety. Brands and retailers can help maintain the momentum by catering to the diverse needs of a new generation of users with products that offer greater flexibility, new taste experiences, and heathier eating."
- John Owen, Senior Food & Drink Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Category growth accelerates in 2017
  • Opportunity to increase use among current purchasers
  • Purchasers tend to treat category as a need rather than a want

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Category growth accelerates in 2017
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of frozen and refrigerated prepared meals, at current prices, 2013-23
          • Opportunity to increase use among current purchasers
            • Figure 2: Purchase of prepared meals, March 2018
          • Purchasers tend to treat category as a need rather than a want
            • Figure 3: Prepared meals behaviors, March 2018
          • The opportunities
            • Younger purchasers express interest in wider array of concepts
              • Figure 4: Interest in prepared meal concepts, by age, March 2018
            • Opportunity to promote mixing and matching
              • Figure 5: Prepared meals behaviors, March 2018
            • Greater variation in portions might expand usage among young adults
              • Figure 6: Attitudes toward prepared meals, by age, March 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Category growth accelerates in 2017
                • Frozen meals account for bulk of sales
                  • Sides help drive category growth
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Category growth accelerates in 2017
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of frozen and refrigerated prepared meals, at current prices, 2013-23
                      • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of frozen and refrigerated prepared meals, at current prices, 2013-23
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Frozen meals account for bulk of sales
                      • Figure 9: Share of frozen and refrigerated prepared meals, by segment, 2018
                    • Single-serve frozen meals maintain positive momentum
                      • Sides help drive category growth
                        • Figure 10: Total US sales of frozen and refrigerated prepared meals, by segment, at current prices, 2013-18
                    • Market Factors

                      • Ambitions to eat cleaner, healthier
                        • Figure 11: Lifestyle statements: attitudes/opinions about food and health – Any agree
                      • Perimeter of store offerings meet current consumer demands
                        • Figure 12: Attitudes toward the perimeter, any agree, April 2017
                      • Mounting influence from younger adults
                        • Figure 13: Population by generation, 2013-23
                      • Rise of passionate cookers
                        • Figure 14: Cooking segments, by cooking enthusiasts, September 2015 and September 2017
                    • Company and Brand Sales of Prepared Meals

                      • ConAgra closes in on Nestle
                        • Sides drive gains for Pinnacle
                          • New brands close gap for Kraft Heinz
                            • Sales of frozen and refrigerated prepared meals by company
                              • Figure 15: Sales of frozen and refrigerated prepared meals, by company, 2017 and 2018
                          • What’s Working?

                            • Healthier options drive side dish growth
                              • Fresh takes on comfort food offer permission to indulge
                                • Marie Callender’s launches Delights
                                  • From smaller brands, comfort food in different sizes and shapes
                                    • Private label gains momentum in an evolving grocery marketplace
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • Sustained growth difficult for big brands
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Could conventional cooking methods make a comeback?
                                          • Catering to an increasingly diverse array of needs and preferences
                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                            • Opportunity to increase use among current purchasers
                                              • While convenience defines the category, taste is key as well
                                                • Young adults’ diversity of motivations creates targeted opportunities
                                                  • All natural ingredients and high protein are top priorities
                                                    • Health preferences shift with age
                                                      • Hearty comfort food still a top choice for category purchasers
                                                        • Young adults interested in a wider array of easy meal options
                                                          • Purchasers see improvements in taste and health
                                                          • Purchase of Prepared Meals

                                                            • Opportunity to increase use among current purchasers
                                                              • Figure 16: Purchase of prepared meals, March 2018
                                                            • Young adults more likely to make category purchases, especially frozen sides
                                                              • Figure 17: Purchase of prepared meals, by age, March 2018
                                                            • Opportunity to promote sides to larger households
                                                              • Figure 18: Purchase of prepared meals, by age, March 2018
                                                          • Reasons for Purchasing Prepared Meals

                                                            • While convenience defines the category, taste is key as well
                                                              • Figure 19: Reasons for purchasing of prepared meals, March 2018
                                                            • Men especially likely to be motivated by taste
                                                              • Figure 20: Reasons for purchasing of prepared meals, by gender, March 2018
                                                            • Young adults’ diversity of motivations creates targeted opportunities
                                                              • Figure 21: Reasons for purchasing of prepared meals, by age, March 2018
                                                          • Attribute Importance

                                                            • All natural ingredients and high protein are top priorities
                                                              • Offering a twist on the familiar could be effective in habit-driven category
                                                                • Figure 22: Prepared meal attribute importance, March 2018
                                                              • Health preferences shift with age
                                                                • Figure 23: Prepared meal attribute importance, by age, March 2018
                                                            • Prepared Meal Concepts

                                                              • Hearty comfort food still a top choice for category purchasers
                                                                • Figure 24: Interest in prepared meal concepts, by age, March 2018
                                                              • Women more likely to be interested in portability, creativity
                                                                • Figure 25: Interest in prepared meal concepts, by gender, March 2018
                                                              • Younger purchasers express interest in wider array of concepts
                                                                • Figure 26: Interest in prepared meal concepts, by age, March 2018
                                                            • Prepared Meals Behaviors

                                                              • Purchasers tend to treat category as a need rather than a want
                                                                • Opportunity to promote mixing and matching
                                                                  • Figure 27: Prepared meals behaviors, March 2018
                                                                • Young adults interested in a wider array of easy meal options
                                                                  • Figure 28: Prepared meals behaviors, by age, March 2018
                                                              • Attitudes toward Prepared Meals

                                                                • Purchasers see improvements in taste and health
                                                                  • Convenience is a given, but other ideas have the potential to differentiate
                                                                    • Figure 29: Attitudes toward prepared meals, March 2018
                                                                  • Greater variation in portions might expand usage among young adults
                                                                    • Figure 30: Attitudes toward prepared meals, by age, March 2018
                                                                  • Positive attitudes correlate to increased purchases
                                                                    • Figure 31: Attitudes toward prepared meals, by change in purchase frequency, March 2018
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Sales data
                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                              • Terms
                                                                              • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                  • Figure 32: Total US sales and forecast of frozen and refrigerated prepared meals, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Total US retail sales and forecast of single-serve frozen meals, at current prices, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Total US retail sales and forecast of multi-serve frozen meals, at current prices, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerated meals, at current prices, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Figure 36: Total US retail sales and forecast of side dishes, at current prices, 2013-23
                                                                                  • Figure 37: Total US retail sales of frozen and refrigerated meals, by channel, at current prices, 2013-18
                                                                              • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                  • Figure 38: Multi-outlet sales of single-serve frozen meals, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 39: Multi-outlet sales of multi-serve frozen meals, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 40: Multi-outlet sales of refrigerated meals, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 41: Multi-outlet sales of side dishes, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2017 and 2018

                                                                              Prepared Meals - Frozen and Refrigerated - US - June 2018

                                                                              US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)