Ready Meals market in Czech Republic is driven by new trends that are taking over from the traditional cooking


The consumer are increasingly looking for healthy eating and convenience, with chilled ready meals, the most dynamic segment accounting for just under a third of the market.

Frozen ready meals though continue to remain the largest segment, though chilled ready meals are coming right behind, followed by dehydrated ready meals.

Another noteworthy segment is Frozen Pizza which is developing rapidly though from a very low consumption base.

Canned ready meals retain a steady position in the market supported by the traditional Czech cuisine, which include goulash and specialties based on pulses and meat, which comes as no surprise in Central Europe.

Canned pasta is a minute market, but the market is dynamic and more and more adapted to the traditional cooking habits. For example Hame brand, owned by Nordic Partners, is promoting canned pasta with meat and vegetables; a not so usual combination in other countries but well received locally.

Dehydrated ready meals suppliers are also active with new ranges, for example instant pasta with traditional sauces which is consumed mostly out of home. Pasta with goulash flavor is one such example.

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Pasta sauces global market is worth about 7Bn Euro

Pasta sauces global market is growing and is expected to increase by 15% until 2016. The market is currently worth about 7Bn Euro. It is dominated by 8 major players accounting for close to 60% of the market between them. Key extracts from the FFT report are presented below. Alternatively, why not browse our ‘company profiles’ menu for more information about the key players and their positioning.




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Frozen Potato market in Europe is led by French Fries and driven by the introduction of new products and convenience

Frozen Potato market in Europe will continue to grow due to the increased ease of preparation, affordability, the introduction of new products and higher quality. Frozen potato is being used both in side dishes and main course preparation.

The UK is the biggest market even though demand per capita has remained rather subdued compared to the rest of Europe.

The European Market for Frozen Potato will continue to grow through the introduction of new products and strong marketing campaigns from the major players, McCain, Aviko, Findus and Farm Frites. McCain stands out as one of the most active to diversify and improve its offering.

The producers are incentivized by the growing demand and the market is perceived to be relatively dynamic together with the rest of the ready-meals market in general. Some consumers are now using frozen potato in more elaborate and sophisticated dishes. The demand for organic products is also picking up, though from a very low base. Organic frozen potato still represents in the low single-digit percent of the overall demand.

French fries account for over 1/3 of the entire frozen potato demand in Europe by volume. The UK, Germany and France are the most important country markets.

On a per capita basis, the UK, Ireland and France lead. At the other end of the spectrum there are countries such as Poland with demand in the 2Kg/head range, though such markets present substantial opportunities for growth.



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Food For Thought FFT S.A. blog has been moved

Please visit Food For Thought blog at the new web address

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Ready Meals in Italy driven by the Frozen category

Italian Ready Meals market is barely growing due to the entrenched tradition for domestic cooking. The annual growth rate for the past 5 years has been under 2%, with Italy accounting for under 10% of the European Ready Meals Market.

Italians themselves are not particularly fond of ready meals, nevertheless Italian solutions are a leading driver of the European ready meals market, and in particular so in frozen pizza.

Frozen ready meals represents almost half of the Italian ready meals sector, with Minestrone, risotto, pasta and lasagna among the most common dishes. There is a great variety of ready meals available in the retail market, and increasingly suppliers try to introduce ready meal variants of home cooking dishes, such as zuppa tradizionale or tagliatelle with a variety of sauces.

Dehydrated ready meals is a sector little developed in Europe in general and in Italy in particular. Demand for dehydrated ready meals in Italy is about 10x lower than in Germany for example.

Chilled ready meals enjoy a relatively high demand in Italy. For example chilled antipasti dishes are popular, as well as pesto and various salads are positively impacting this particular segment.

We have also noticed increasing demand for vegetarian varieties of traditional recipes.

Other interesting transformations we have seen is to replace Mozzarella cheese with tofu and to make Bolognese pasta sauce based on soja balls.

All in all, Italy remains a rather traditional in its demand for ready meals and exotic dishes, such as for example Asian ones, make little inroads.

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Ready Meals Market Germany: Chilled segment experiencing fastest growth with Asian recipies increasingly popular

Frozen Ready Meals is the most popular segment within the ready meals sector in Germany but chilled has been growing strongest in the recent years. The German consumer is more focused on convenience and ease of preparation than on diversity and creativity of solutions as its French or British counterpart would be.

Dehydrated segment has had a less favorable development in the recent years, both in Germany and in Europe in general, however, Germany continues to lead in this category on the continent. Notable, in the very important French and British markets dehydrated has a relatively low importance.

Asian recipes are becoming increasingly popular within the frozen segment. Although at less than 5% of this sector, Asian dishes are present in all retailers. One of the most popular frozen dishes seems currently those ready to eat within minutes in the frying pan. For further bespoke research of the ready meals segment in Germany please enquire about our Consultancy services.

Within the Chilled ready meals segment, prepared salads are increasingly popular and they are consumed both during the day and at dinner time.

Canned is a stable segment, with increasingly elaborate dishes available in this format. These can be consumed right after opening and require just heating in the microwave. Canned ready meals seem to compete with chilled though the later seems to gain market share due to the trend towards healthy eating and diet control. The demand for chilled products is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

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Ready Meals French markets: ‘frozen’ continue to lead but the ‘box’ concept is gaining traction in particular in the chilled counter

Ready Meals market in France is stable at 16% of the European Ready Meals market and has had a positive development over the past 5 years. Starting with the classic French “cassoulet” and finishing with the exquisite “fondue”, the French consumer is spoiled for choice in the supermarkets. Ready meals in France are the 4th largest of the West European markets and continue to play an important role in the EU market development.

The producers of ready meals are facing two challenges: meet the expectations of the young generation and the critical mass economical requirements. Frozen ready meals continue to lead the market as the French consumer view it safe and convenient. However, the ‘box’ concept is increasingly gaining traction and in particular in the chilled counter. Young consumers are more and more attracted to bio and ethnic concepts, in addition to preferring ‘everything in one box’ and at ambient temperature. ‘Nomadism’ is a new social trend increasingly impacting the food consumption preferences; the young increasingly buy simple products in a box format which can be consumed wherever and whenever.

The Italian market is impacting the French market to a considerable degree; for example the sustained penetration of the frozen pizza segment, the most dynamic segment since the mid-2000 until recently. Frozen pizza retains the top spot in the ready meals market according to Food For Thought FFT, but the producers are increasingly challenged to come up with new ingredients and new formats, such as diet, gluten-free, with bio ingredients, vegan, premium with seafood, etc.

Own-label is a very profitable segment of the ready meals category. The retailers’ message to the consumer is simple: affordable and healthy meal for everyone.

Associated industries have also jumped on the band-wagon and cooking devices are increasingly adapted to the consumption of ready meals. Even the producers of white-goods now develop their products bearing in mind the growing consumption of ready-meals.

Two sub-segments of the ready meals market, dehydrated and canned, will continue to remain out of favor in France and lose even more market share.

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