The European ready meals market has grown more than 14% in the past five years - and is due to grow another 12% by 2016, Claims a new report from Food For Thought.
The market researcher puts the value of European ready meal sales at €30.5 bn. in 2013, compared to €26.7 bn. five years earlier. It expects the European market to be worth €40.85 bn. by 2016.
Three countries - France, Germany and the UK - accounted for 60% of ready meal spending last year, FFT said, with Spanish shoppers accounting for another 12%. No other single European country accounted for more than 4% of the total.
FFT breaks the market down into seven main categories, with the chilled and frozen ready meal segments together accounting for nearly three-quarters of the market. Other categories are canned pasta, canned ready meals, dehydrated ready meals, frozen pizza, and sandwiches.
In terms of innovation, FFT pinpoints four main drivers:
- A push toward premiumisation
- An emphasis on health
- The introduction of more exotic recipes, with a focus on provenance
- The influence of private label.
The ready meals market is relatively fragmented, FFT said. It estimates that the leading eight companies in the sector accounted for one-third of total ready meal sales last year. It suggests
that this could leave room for intensive M&A activity in the coming years.
Nestlé was the top ready meal supplier last year, with an estimated 9.4% market share, followed by Permira (5.1%) and Dr. Oetker (4.6%).
Source: Food For Thought