Ready Meals - China - June 2016
“Convenience and fast to serve are the most common features in the ready meals category, but in fact ‘taste’ is considered as the most important purchase decision factor. Besides the taste, consumers’ interest in ‘additive-free’ products has grown and the claim is likely to become a new norm in the ready meals category.”
– Ching Yang, Research Analyst
This report discusses the following key topics:
- How to respond to the competition from food delivery services?
- Opportunities for Western-style ready meals
- Beyond convenience: Customisable and experiential
- Shelf-stable could venture into the ‘hot cereal’ concept to boost uptake
The ready meals market in China is growing steadily, driven by the urbanisation and the consequent busier lifestyle. However, the rising competition from the food delivery service has also slowed down its growth rate. Among the segments, the frozen ready meals segment dominates the market share, but the chilled ready meals segment has the highest growth rate.
Innovations from the key players range from extra vegetables, premium product lines, to products designed for different demographics. The ‘no additives/preservatives’ claim has grown the most among the new launched products, and most new launched products are from the traditional categories, such as frozen dumplings or buns.
From the consumer data, taste is the most important purchase decision factor and food additives/preservative is the most significant consumption barrier across the surveyed categories. Looking ahead, consumers would like to have more vegetables in their ready meals, and they also want to have more low-calorie or breakfast-targeted options available.
For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions for ready meals:
- Packaged meals in the format of frozen, chilled, or shelf-stable that are ready to eat or require limited preparation or additional food ingredients. The serving size is at least 250g and the example products are: frozen dumplings, buns, meals, pizza, pasta, shelf-stable canned porridge, and chilled lunchboxes.
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