2023
9
US Prepared Meals Market Report 2023
2023-08-08T04:02:54+01:00
OX1156185
3695
165615
[{"name":"Ready Meals","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/food\/convenience-foods\/ready-meals"}]
Report
en_GB
“Convenience is a category-defining benefit for prepared meals, but the biggest opportunities for growth may come for products that slow things down, just a little bit. Alternative prep methods that…

US Prepared Meals Market Report 2023

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Stay ahead of the curve and secure future growth for your business with Mintel’s US Prepared Meals Market Report 2023. Our full report is packed with consumer-led market intelligence, the latest trends and consumer behaviours affecting your industry. Get a 360° view of the US prepared meals industry including market size, share and forecasted growth to help you align your business strategy with the needs of your audience.

Below, we’ve handpicked the key insights analysed in the full report and summarised the core topics.

Key Areas Covered in this Report

  • Analysis of sales and market share trends in key category segments
  • Motivations for prepared meal consumption and key attributes sought
  • Consumer interest in prepared meal product concepts
  • Attitudes toward prepared meals

Current Prepared Meals Market Overview

Following several years of disruption, the US prepared meals market is settling back into its long-term slow-growth pattern. Consumption levels are returning to pre-pandemic levels, however usage of prepared meals is still widespread in the US, with more than 80% of consumers having eaten at least one type in the past three months to May 2023.

  • US prepared meals market size: Mintel forecasts that the market will increase by an estimated 4.2% in 2023.
  • Prepared meals market segmentation: Single-serve frozen meals lead the category, with a 38% share of sales.

US Ready Meals Market Trends: What consumers want and why

While the long-term expectation is for slow, steady growth, brands and retailers can accelerate through innovations in portioning, preparation methods, and cuisine variety that make the category relevant across a wider array of use occasions.

  • Expanded portion options: Over a third of consumers would like to see packaged prepared meals with resealable packaging, which could be combined with individual portions to reduce waste.
  • Preparation methods beyond the microwave: More than one third of consumers, especially those aged 35+, would like to see more meals that can be prepared in a skillet, suggesting general interest in preparation beyond the microwave, such as baking or stir-frying.
  • Amplify cuisine variety: While most consumers tend to stick with popular cuisines such as Mexican, Italian, or Chinese, significant numbers also expressed interest in less common cuisines, such as Thai or Vietnamese. Having more options available could help consumers avoid flavour fatigue, and motivate them to turn to prepared meals more frequently.

More About this Report

This report provides information on market share and retail sales for the key players in the prepared meals market, including Conagra Brands Inc, Nestlé SA, Amy’s Kitchen Inc, Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL, and more. For the purposes of this Report, prepared meals are defined as complete meals or entrées that are precooked and frozen or refrigerated.

Purchase our full US Prepared Meals Market Report 2023 to discover lucrative innovation opportunities to help your business grow during times of financial uncertainty.

Expert Insights from a Food Industry Analyst

This report, written by John Owen, a leading food and retail analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the prepared meals market and add expert context to the numbers.

Convenience is a category-defining benefit for prepared meals, but the biggest opportunities for growth may come for products that slow things down, just a little bit. Alternative prep methods that bypass the microwave, new cuisines to explore and ideas for customizing and mixing and matching meals and sides have the potential to deepen engagement and satisfaction with the category.

John Owen, Associate Director, Food and RetailJohn Owen
Associate Director – Food and Retail

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top Takeaways
                • Consumer trends
                  • Widespread usage, especially among younger adults
                    • Figure 1: Consumption of prepared meals, by age, 2023
                  • Beyond convenience: great taste can be differentiating
                    • Figure 2: Reasons for prepared meal consumption, 2023
                  • Interest in cuisine variety offers path to increased consumption
                    • Figure 3: Cuisines of interest, 2023
                  • Competitive strategies
                    • Non-microwave products help to deepen engagement
                      • Pace of meat-free prepared meal launches slows
                        • Further opportunities for ethical, sustainability and clean label claims
                          • Market predictions
                            • Figure 4: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of prepared meals, at current prices, 2018-28
                            • Figure 5: Category outlook, 2023-28
                          • Opportunities
                            • Expand portioning flexibility to boost usage frequency
                              • Figure 6: Interest in prepared meal concepts – Portion-related, by age, 2023
                            • Leverage retail to activate interest in greater variety
                              • Figure 7: Attitudes toward prepared meals – Customization and cuisine exploration, by age, 2023
                            • Move beyond the microwave to deepen engagement and satisfaction
                              • Figure 8: Interest in prepared meal concepts – Preparation and customizability, by age, 2023
                          • Market Size and Forecast

                            • Category eases back to long-term slow-growth pattern
                              • Figure 9: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of prepared meals, at current prices, 2018-28
                              • Figure 10: Total US sales and forecast of prepared meals, at current prices, 2018-28
                          • Segment Performance

                            • Single-serve frozen meals lead diverse category
                              • Figure 11: Share of total US retail sales of prepared meals, by segment, 2023
                            • Pandemic and inflation disrupt slow growth in most segments
                              • Strong volume gains help refrigerated meals outpace other segments
                                • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of prepared meals, by segment, at current prices 2018-23
                            • Market Drivers

                              • Inflation that drove dollar sales growth in 2022 starts to ease in 2023
                                • Figure 13: Consumer price index for food at home and food away from home, 2020-23
                              • Proportion spent on food at home stabilizes
                                • Figure 14: Consumer spending percentage on food at home vs food away from home, 2022-23
                              • Enthusiasm for cooking wanes, creating an opening for prepared meals
                                • Figure 15: Cooking motivation, 2019-22
                                • Figure 16: Cooking attitudes, 2019-22
                            • Market Share/Key Players

                              • Biggest competitors see share slip as private label gains
                                • Sales of prepared meals by company
                                  • Figure 17: Multi-outlet sales of prepared meals, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                • Comfort foods gain share in single-serve frozen meals
                                  • Figure 18: Multi-outlet sales of single-serve frozen meals, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                • Smaller brands and private label extend gains in multi-serve frozen meals
                                  • Figure 19: Select multi-serve frozen meal product launches
                                  • Figure 20: Multi-outlet sales of multi-serve frozen meals, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                • Store brands press their advantage in refrigerated meals
                                  • Figure 21: Select refrigerated meal product launches
                                  • Figure 22: Multi-outlet sales of refrigerated meals, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                • Private label gains in side dishes
                                  • Figure 23: Multi-outlet sales of side dishes, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                • Well-established brands dominate shelf-stable meals
                                  • Figure 24: Select shelf-stable meal product launches
                                  • Figure 25: Multi-outlet sales of shelf-stable meals, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                              • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                • To deepen engagement, move away from the microwave
                                  • Figure 26: Non-microwave meal and side dish product launches
                                • Pace of meat-free prepared meal launches slows, but opportunity remains
                                  • Figure 27: Vegan/vegetarian/plant-based product launches
                                  • Figure 28: Incidence of vegan/vegetarian/plant-based packaging claims on prepared meal product launches, 2017-23
                                • Further opportunities for ethical, sustainability and clean label claims
                                  • Figure 29: Prepared meal product launches making ethical/clean label claims
                                  • Figure 30: Incidence of select ethical and clean label packaging claims on prepared meal product launches, 2017-23
                              • The Prepared Meals Consumer – Fast Facts

                                • Widespread usage, especially among younger adults
                                  • Beyond convenience: great taste can be differentiating
                                    • Amplify the differences between types to establish greater relevance
                                      • Health and wellness priorities shift with age
                                        • Portioning flexibility could help boost usage frequency
                                          • Interest in cuisine variety offers path to increased consumption
                                            • Even premium-priced prepared meals can be positioned as money-savers
                                            • Consumption of Prepared Meals

                                              • Widespread usage with room to grow by segment
                                                • Figure 31: Consumption of prepared meals, 2023
                                              • Younger adults turn to a wider array of meals
                                                • Figure 32: Consumption of prepared meals, by age, 2023
                                              • Portioning flexibility could help increase use in households of all sizes
                                                • Figure 33: Consumption of prepared meals, by household size, 2023
                                              • Opportunities to drive multi-form use
                                                • Figure 34: Consumption of prepared meals, by household size, by meal type used most often, 2023
                                            • Reasons for Prepared Meal Consumption

                                              • Convenience is a given, but great taste can be differentiating
                                                • Figure 35: Reasons for prepared meal consumption, 2023
                                              • Taste and flavor exploration especially important to young adults
                                                • Figure 36: Reasons for prepared meal consumption, by age, 2023
                                            • Prepared Meal Associations by Type

                                              • Amplify the differences to establish greater relevance
                                                • Feed families
                                                  • Facilitate fresh
                                                    • Grab a quick bite
                                                      • Figure 37: Prepared meal associations, by type, 2023
                                                  • Prepared Meal Attribute Importance

                                                    • Health and wellness priorities shift with age
                                                      • Figure 38: Prepared meal attribute importance, by age, 2023
                                                  • Interest in Prepared Meal Concepts

                                                    • Greater portioning flexibility could drive more frequent usage
                                                      • Non-microwave options could add appetite appeal
                                                        • Ethical sourcing and related concepts of interest to younger consumers
                                                          • Figure 39: Interest in prepared meal concepts, by age, 2023
                                                      • Cuisines of Interest

                                                        • Expand cuisine variety to increase consumption frequency
                                                          • Figure 40: Cuisines of interest, 2023
                                                        • Interest in cuisine variety extends across age groups
                                                          • Figure 41: Cuisines of interest, by age, 2023
                                                      • Attitudes toward Prepared Meals

                                                        • Improving perceptions around health, but more work to do
                                                          • Highlight the value of premium prepared meals
                                                            • Figure 42: Attitudes toward prepared meals, 2023
                                                          • Leverage retail to activate interest in greater variety
                                                            • Figure 43: Attitudes toward prepared meals – Customization and cuisine exploration, by age, 2023
                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                          • Data sources
                                                            • Sales data
                                                              • Forecast
                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Terms
                                                                      • Appendix – The Market

                                                                          • Figure 44: Total US retail sales and forecast of prepared meals, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 45: Total US retail sales and forecast of single-serve frozen meals, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 46: Total US retail sales and forecast of single-serve frozen meals, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 47: Total US retail sales and forecast of multi-serve frozen meals, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 48: Total US retail sales and forecast of multi-serve frozen meals, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 49: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerated meals, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 50: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerated meals, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 51: Total US retail sales and forecast of side dishes, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 52: Total US retail sales and forecast of side dishes, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable meals, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 54: Total US retail sales and forecast of shelf-stable meals, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 55: Total US retail sales of prepared meals, by channel, at current prices, 2018-23
                                                                          • Figure 56: Multi-outlet volume sales of prepared meals, by segment, 2018-23

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