Global Cooked Food Industry
The global ready meals market is expected to break the $81 billion mark by 2015, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. Market growth is fuelled by rising levels of disposable income, the adoption of western eating habits across the world, and the rising number of women in the workplace.
Ready meals are entirely pre-cooked meals sold at retail outlets that only require heating to be ready to eat. Ready meals are sometimes referred to as takeouts, fast food, takeouts, and carryouts. They can be composed of a wide range of ingredients including seafood, meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, and pasta, and fall into several categories including ethnic, traditional, vegetarian, and continental dishes.
Leading ready meals markets are approaching maturity phase after years of strong growth. Traditionally, microwaveable meals boasting convenience were in high demand. With evolving consumer lifestyle and eating habits, consumers are more responsive to ready meals marketed as healthy, using organic or natural ingredients. Ready meals companies are also responding to evolving demand by offering new products, for example children’s meals, which constitute a market segment recording strong growth.
Ready meal manufacturers are likely to incorporate sustainable packaging concerns and a preference for local sourcing of food in new product development, reports Business Insights.