|July 14, 2005, as reported
by just-food.com: Frozen dinners, according to new research
findings, are not necessarily the food of choice of single twenty-somethings
as once thought but are instead a growing meal option among their
In 2004, seniors (55+) accounted for 26% of the value of the region's
€11.1bn (US$13.4bn) ready made meal market, according to a
new report by independent market analyst Datamonitor. "An increasing
number of seniors in Europe live alone, as such the idea of cooking
from scratch for one is generally unappealing" said Daniel
Bone, consumer markets analyst at Datamonitor.
The report also cites a later retirement age with a trend towards
phased retirement and a desire for more leisure as reasons why older
European are seeking ready-made meals.
Younger buyers, those in the 25-34 age category, and mid-lifers
(35-44) are generally thought of as the groups most likely to spend
on ready meals, however, they only accounted for 19% and 22% of
Datamonitor’s consumer graphics database reveals that French
seniors are Europe’s biggest spenders on ready meals (€847million),
followed by the British (€778 million), Germans (€677
million) and Swedes (€220 million). Dutch seniors spent the
least (€130 million) among those surveyed.
When it comes to positioning time saving meal solutions manufacturers
must be sensitive to an accentuated level of cooking pride. "Manufacturers
need to be aware that they must offer the older consumer a sense
of pride in feeling there was some skill in preparing the meal",
The sensory benefits of prepared meals also play an important part
in appealing to older consumers who are more likely to judge a ready
meal against more authentic meals prepared from scratch.
In the 3 biggest ready meal markets of France, UK and Germany urban
consumption accounts for 80%, 92% and 91% of market values respectively.
“In the same three countries male consumption accounts for
57% of market value suggesting that males are slightly more in need
of a little help in the kitchen," says Bone.
As for future developments Datamonitor believes that despite frozen
meals dominating the market in every country but the UK, consumption
of chilled meals will grow the fastest. "Chilled meals have
grown in popularity as they are perceived to have improved sensory
benefits, use better quality and fresher ingredients and contain
fewer additives than frozen meals", said Bone.