Ready-To-Eat Food Market Assessment, By Category [Instant Breakfast/Cereals, Instant Soups and Snacks, Baked Goods, Meat/Poultry, Others], By Packaging Type [Canned, Frozen or Chilled, Retort, Others], By Distribution Channel [Online; Offline-Supermarkets

Ready-To-Eat Food Market Assessment, By Category [Instant Breakfast/Cereals, Instant Soups and Snacks, Baked Goods, Meat/Poultry, Others], By Packaging Type [Canned, Frozen or Chilled, Retort, Others], By Distribution Channel [Online; Offline-Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Departmental Stores, Convenience Stores, Others], By End-user [Residential, Food Service, Institutional], By Region, Opportunities, and Forecast, 2016-2030F

The Ready-To-Eat Food Market size was estimated at USD 251.2 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 379.13 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.28% from 2023 to 2030 driven by rising demand for innovative products with good quality. Sustainable packaging is necessary, in addition to the growing demand for various product options and pack sizes. Consumers may opt for a different food brand if the packaging is not recyclable, reusable, or compostable out of pure obligation to support environmental stewardship. To achieve a competitive edge in the market, companies are positioning their products based on criteria, such as product offers, quality, taste, flavour, pricing, size, packaging and marketing initiatives.

Factors such as hectic schedules, the increase in single-person households, and the growing popularity of delivery and takeout services contribute to the rise of the ready-to-eat food market. Some stores are now specializing in offering prepared meals for on-the-go consumption. The convenience of instant or easy-to-prepare snacks and ready meals has gained significant popularity, especially among working-class individuals, teenagers, people living in hostels, and bachelors. The immediate consumption and convenience factors are closely linked to the appeal of ready-to-eat food, as it provides a quick and easy meal solution along with disposable packaging support. Moreover, there is a changing trend towards incorporating more plant-based/vegan ingredients and adopting sustainable packaging with reduced plastic and waste. This shift is redefining how packaged food boxes are perceived, and brands are facing increasing pressure to offer environment-friendly products that are more effective in supporting the environment.

Increasing Demand for Premium Ready-To-Eat Foods

There are many different kinds of ready-to-eat food items available, including frozen pizzas, takeaway containers and pre-packaged meals. While the majority of people associate the word ""ready-to-eat"" with bad and unhealthy selections, there are also numerous healthy options available. As consumers demand items that are healthier, customised, and natural, several businesses are increasingly focusing on nutritious pre-made meals that can be enjoyed on the move. People are even willing to pay a higher price for premium quality foods because of rising health concerns among them. For instance, Nomad Foods Limited launched a “Green Cuisine Range” under its brand name ‘Iglo’ which provides with a variety of delicious, simple-to-make plant-based meals, while focusing on the increasing veganism among masses.

Surge in Demand for Convenience

The global demand for convenient and instant food, including instant pasta, rice, snacks, meat products, and more, is experiencing rapid growth. This can be attributed to various factors such as changes in social and economic patterns, increased spending on food and beverages, growing awareness of healthy eating, shifts in meal patterns and dietary habits, the expanding expatriate population, and a desire for new food experiences. The United States stands out as one of the largest markets for ready-to-eat food, with Germany and the United Kingdom following suit. Additionally, emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and South America are expected to contribute to future growth in this sector.

The popularity of instant or easy-to-prepare snacks and ready meals is soaring, particularly among individuals with busy lifestyles such as the working class, teenagers, people residing in hostels, and bachelors. The concept of on-the-go consumption aligns closely with the convenience and ease of handling that ready-to-eat food offers. Consequently, the demand for such products continues to rise, driven by the convenience of consumption and complemented by disposable packaging. For example, in March 2021, General Mills, a prominent American food company, introduced ready-to-eat cookies under their Pillsbury baking brand for the first time. Pillsbury offers Soft Baked Cookies in various flavours, such as chocolate chip, confetti sugar with drizzled icing, and peanut butter with chocolatey drizzle.

Asia-Pacific Holds a Dominant Position

The ready-to-eat food market in the Asia-Pacific region exhibits dominance, fuelled by the increasing demand for frozen and ready meals, including frozen meat products, snacks like pizza, frozen cereals, soups, and more. This market growth is further supported by the introduction of exotic products, the emergence of private labels, and the trend of product premiumization. Consumers' perception of ready meals continues to improve, as convenience and quick cooking time align with their preferences. China and India are anticipated to be key drivers of market demand in the region, given their robust growth and significant market potential. Chilled ready meals and frozen ready meals are particularly popular categories in these countries.

Evolving consumer food preferences, such as gluten-free options, vegan choices, and sustainable packaging, bring added value to the market. As an illustration of product innovation, in February 2022, VegaBytz launched a range of plant-based, 100% vegan meat products in India. Their range of ready-to-eat meals and curry products, including meat/chicken/tuna alternatives, are purely plant-based. Companies operating in the market are also actively implementing strategic measures to establish a strong presence in these countries, further driving market growth.

Increasing Women Workforce

The increasing women workforce globally has been a significant driver for the ready-to-eat food market. As per the statistics by the World Bank, women contribute to 39.5% of the total labour force globally. With more women joining the workforce, there is a greater demand for convenient and time-saving food options. Ready-to-eat meals provide a quick and easy solution for busy working women who may have limited time for meal preparation. It offers convenience and saves time for women who juggle multiple responsibilities at work and home. It eliminates the need for meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking, allowing women to allocate more time to other priorities. As more women attain financial independence and take on leadership roles, they have less time available for cooking. Ready-to-eat meals provide a practical solution that allows them to focus on their careers while still enjoying a satisfying meal.

Impact of COVID-19

Particularly during the COVID outbreak, the ready-to-eat food segment market has shown to be one of the fastest-rising and growing markets. Customers frequently purchased ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook meals during the pandemic because they were easily accessible and affordable. All restaurants, hotels, and shopping centres had established strict lockdown procedures, which had an impact on eating habits of people around the world due to lockdown and public safety procedures. Due to the lack of dine-out options, many individuals were persuaded to switch to home-cooked meals and packaged ready foods that could be delivered to their homes via home delivery possibilities by a variety of supermarkets or hypermarkets and e-commerce grocery stores. Fresh food had been replaced with packaged, long-life ready-to-eat meals out of fear of spreading the infection in public spaces.

Impact of Russia-Ukraine War

Russia and Ukraine export almost 12% of the food calories exchanged globally, making them important actors in the agriculture sector. The Russia-Ukraine war, which was a struggle between two significant agricultural powers, had a number of detrimental socioeconomic effects that were felt worldwide and could worsen the situation with regard to global food security. It caused a wide range of immediate and direct effects on food security, disrupting harvesting and shipping and seriously altering prices and staple supply.

Another cascading effect of the war is panic buying, which can occur at both the national and personal levels. During the COVID-19 pandemic, stockpiling and panic buying were key aspects of crisis- and disaster-related consumer behaviour that drew significant media attention. In fact, during a crisis, people's lives become increasingly dependent on food, and panic buying is a typical human response to a stressful situation.

Key Players Landscape and Outlook

The global market for ready-to-eat food is characterized by intense competition, with key players like Nomad Foods Ltd, General Mills, Inc., McCain Foods Limited, Nestlé SA, and Conagra Brands, Inc. leading the industry. To maintain their competitiveness, major market participants focus on various initiatives such as product innovation, launching new products, engaging in mergers and acquisitions, and expanding their geographic presence.

For instance, in September 2022, McCain Foods Limited made an acquisition by purchasing Scelta Products, a Netherlands-based company.

1. Research Methodology
2. Project Scope & Definitions
3. Impact of COVID-19 on Ready-To-Eat Food Market
4. Impact of Russia-Ukraine War
5. Executive Summary
6. Voice of Customer
6.1. Demographics (Age/Cohort Analysis – Baby Boomers and Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z; Gender; Income – Low, Mid and High; Geography; Nationality; etc.)
6.2. Market Awareness and Product Information
6.3. Brand Awareness and Loyalty
6.4. Factors Considered in Purchase Decision
6.4.1. Brand Name
6.4.2. Pack Size
6.4.3. Price
6.4.4. Customisation Options
6.4.5. Packaging Type
6.4.6. Inclination Towards Organic Products
6.4.7. Promotional Offers & Discounts
6.5. Purpose of Purchase
6.6. Frequency of Purchase
6.7. Medium of Purchase
6.8. Role of Brand Ambassador or Influencer Marketing on Product/Brand Absorption
7. Ready-To-Eat Food Market Outlook, 2016-2030F
7.1. Market Size & Forecast
7.1.1. By Value
7.1.2. By Volume
7.2. By Category
7.2.1. Instant Breakfast/Cereals
7.2.2. Instant Soups and Snacks
7.2.3. Baked Goods
7.2.4. Meat/Poultry
7.2.5. Others
7.3. By Packaging Type
7.3.1. Canned
7.3.2. Frozen or Chilled
7.3.3. Retort
7.3.4. Others
7.4. By Distribution Channel
7.4.1. Online
7.4.2. Offline Supermarkets/Hypermarkets Departmental Stores Convenience Stores Others
7.5. By End-user
7.5.1. Residential
7.5.2. Food Service
7.5.3. Institutional
7.6. By Region
7.6.1. North America
7.6.2. Europe
7.6.3. South America
7.6.4. Asia Pacific
7.6.5. Middle East and Africa
7.7. By Company Market Share (%), 2022
8. Ready-To-Eat Food Market Outlook, By Region, 2016-2030F
8.1. North America*
8.1.1. By Category Instant Breakfast/Cereals Instant Soups and Snacks Baked Goods Meat/Poultry Others
8.1.2. By Packaging Type Canned Frozen or Chilled Retort Others
8.1.3. By Distribution Channel Online Offline Supermarkets/Hypermarkets Departmental Stores Convenience Stores Others
8.1.4. By End User Residential Food Service Institutional
8.1.5. United States* By Category Instant Breakfast/Cereals Instant Soups and Snacks Baked Goods Meat/Poultry Others By Packaging Type Canned Frozen or Chilled Retort Others By Distribution Channel Online Offline Supermarkets/Hypermarkets Departmental Stores Convenience Stores Others By End-user Residential Food Service Institutional
8.1.6. Canada
8.1.7. Mexico
*All segments will be provided for all regions and countries covered
8.2. Europe
8.2.1. Germany
8.2.2. France
8.2.3. Italy
8.2.4. United Kingdom
8.2.5. Russia
8.2.6. Netherlands
8.2.7. Spain
8.2.8. Turkey
8.2.9. Poland
8.3. South America
8.3.1. Brazil
8.3.2. Argentina
8.4. Asia-Pacific
8.4.1. India
8.4.2. China
8.4.3. Japan
8.4.4. Australia
8.4.5. Vietnam
8.4.6. South Korea
8.4.7. Indonesia
8.4.8. Philippines
8.5. Middle East & Africa
8.5.1. Saudi Arabia
8.5.2. UAE
8.5.3. South Africa
9. Market Mapping, 2022
9.1. By Category
9.2. By Packaging Type
9.3. By Distribution Channel
9.4. By End-user
9.5. By Region
10. Macro Environment and Industry Structure
10.1. Supply Demand Analysis
10.2. Import Export Analysis – Volume and Value
10.3. Supply/Value Chain Analysis
10.4. PESTEL Analysis
10.4.1. Political Factors
10.4.2. Economic System
10.4.3. Social Implications
10.4.4. Technological Advancements
10.4.5. Environmental Impacts
10.4.6. Legal Compliances and Regulatory Policies (Statutory Bodies Included)
10.5. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
10.5.1. Supplier Power
10.5.2. Buyer Power
10.5.3. Substitution Threat
10.5.4. Threat from New Entrant
10.5.5. Competitive Rivalry
11. Market Dynamics
11.1. Growth Drivers
11.2. Growth Inhibitors (Challenges, Restraints)
12. Key Players Landscape
12.1. Competition Matrix of Top Five Market Leaders
12.2. Market Revenue Analysis of Top Five Market Leaders (in %, 2022)
12.3. Mergers and Acquisitions/Joint Ventures (If Applicable)
12.4. SWOT Analysis (For Five Market Players)
12.5. Patent Analysis (If Applicable)
13. Pricing Analysis
14. Case Studies
15. Key Players Outlook
15.1. Nomad Foods Limited
15.1.1. Company Details
15.1.2. Key Management Personnel
15.1.3. Products & Services
15.1.4. Financials (As reported)
15.1.5. Key Market Focus & Geographical Presence
15.1.6. Recent Developments
15.2. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
15.3. McCain Foods Limited
15.4. The Kraft Heinz Company
15.5. Himalaya Food International Limited
15.6. General Mills, Inc.
15.7. Conagra Brands, Inc.
15.8. Mondelez International, Inc.
15.9. Nestlé SA
15.10. Premier Foods Group Limited
*Companies mentioned above DO NOT hold any order as per market share and can be changed as per information available during research work
16. Strategic Recommendations
17. About Us & Disclaimer

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