Prepared Meal Manufacturing in the UK Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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The Prepared Meal Manufacturing industry has made the most of counter-cyclical demand for its products over the past five years, with the recession leading to consumers eating fewer meals at restaurants, boosting demand for cheap ready meals from retailers. The industry will continue to benefit from trends towards smaller households, less time spent cooking and families having fewer meals together, which prompt consumers to opt for timesaving and convenient food products over fresh ingredients and IBISWorld expects industry revenue to grow marginally over the next five years through 2017-18.

IBISWorld industry market research
The industry cooks up healthier products for time-poor consumers

The Prepared Meal Manufacturing industry has made the most of counter-cyclical demand for its products over the past five years, although it has recently been blighted by the horsemeat scandal. The recession caused consumers to eat fewer meals at restaurants, boosting demand for cheap ready meals from retailers. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Patrick Ross, “The industry has benefited from trends towards smaller households, less time spent cooking and families having fewer meals together, which prompt consumers to opt for time-saving and convenient food products over fresh ingredients”. However, concerns over nutrition and food quality have constrained demand. The horse meat scandal in early 2013 implicated major company Birds Eye and cast a shadow over the rest of the industry. Trust in ready-made products is low, but consumers are unlikely to be dissuaded across the board. Over the past decade, demand has shifted slightly in favour of chilled meals at the expense of canned and frozen meals. The industry has been characterised by low profit margins and pressure from retailers and consumers for cheap products. IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue to grow at a compound annual rate of 0.5% over the five years through 2012-13. In the current year, revenue is expected to increase by 0.9% and reach £2.2 billion.

The industry is expected to simmer on a low heat over the next five years. The same trends that have supported the industry will continue to do so. Some households now have limited cooking skills, which will boost the industry in the long term. Ross adds, “concerns over health and nutrition, and competition from other convenience food products (such as partially prepared meals) and restaurants will constrain demand”. As disposable incomes and consumer confidence increase with the gradual economic recovery, some consumers are likely to trade back to fresh produce. Ingrained eating habits and well-planned recipe innovation from competing manufacturers will support demand. IBISWorld forecasts that industry revenue will grow marginally over the next five years through 2017-18.

The Prepared Meal Manufacturing industry has a low level of market share concentration with the top four players accounting for 35.7% of revenue. Concentration has been kept relatively low by the fact that many of the industry's participants are large, diversified food companies with interests in a number of other markets. As they have experience and infrastructure that lends itself to ready meal production, they often expand into the field but only to a limited extent. Ready-meal versions of fresh products already offered by the firms are an easy way in and represent a strong supplementary source of income. Major companies include Bakkavor Group, Iglo Foods and 2 Sisters.

For more information on the Prepared Meal Manufacturing industry, including latest industry trends, statistics, analysis and market share information, purchase the full report from IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry manufactures frozen, chilled or canned ready-made meals. It also includes frozen pizza, and meat, poultry, fish and vegetable meals that are processed purely for preservation. The industry excludes foods with fewer than two ingredients, such as frozen fish or meat fillets, and perishable prepared meals like salads and sandwiches.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalisation & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on many UK industries. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in London, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.co.uk or call (020) 3008 6568.

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Gavin Smith
IBISWorld
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