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Consumer and Innovation Trends in Ready Meals

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Consumer and Innovation Trends in Ready Meals

  1. 1. Consumer and Innovation Trends in Ready Meals 2013 Frozen, chilled, canned and dried ready meals Category Series. Published December 2013 Consumer Insight
  2. 2. Contents 1. Introduction 1. Definition and scope 2. TrendSights framework 2. Easy & Affordable 1. Private label 2. Convenience 3. Simplicity 3. Comfort & Uncertainty 1. Cocooning 2. Trust & Transparency 3. Localism 4. Health & Wellness 1. Natural 2. Positive Nutrition 3. Weight Management 4. Low salt 5. Sensory & Indulgence 1. Taste 2. Freshness 3. Novelty 6. Individualism & Expression 1. Personalization 2. Allergies & Intolerances 3. Targeting Children Please click on the section of interest 14 15 18 21 24 26 30 32 35 39 40 42 46 48 .50 55 58 61 62 64 67 70 74 76 2 7. Evolving Landscapes 1. Aging Populations 2. Emerging markets 8. Smart & Connected 1. Online engagement 2. Smart engagement 9. Sustainability & Ethics 1. Ethical consumerism 2. Sustainable packaging 10. Conclusion 11. Appendix 78 81 83 86 90 92 95 98 99 102 106
  3. 3. Easy & Affordable Key themes Private label The quality of private label products continues to improve, which is proving highly appealing to value-conscious consumers. Indeed, private labels are excelling on more than price, bringing products to the market that are satisfying indulgence and health demands and effectively replicating branded innovation. Convenience Everyday time pressures, stresses, and work-life balance problems that contemporary consumers experience inevitably force them to look for easy and quick-to-prepare meals so that they do not have to spend most of their leisure time cooking. Innovative packaging formats that facilitate quick preparation and consumption are poised for growth in the future. Simplicity Simplifying the shopping process is key to attract time-bound consumers. Ready meal manufacturers should capitalize on food-alcohol pairings to boost purchase. Source: Datamonitor analysis 3 Mega-trend relevance in ready meals Easy & Affordable Individualism & Expression Health & Wellness Comfort & Uncertainty Evolving Landscapes Sensory & Indulgence Smart & Connected Sustainability & Ethics Overview Private label Convenience Simplicity
  4. 4. Moving foodservice brands into the retail market Many foodservice operators have been sensitive to changes in consumer behavior and are licensing their brands to manufacturers to produce their branded products for the retail market to open up new revenue streams. In the ultra- competitive retail market, foodservice branding can help to create a point of differentiation. This can make the consumer feel that they are getting a foodservice experience in their home. Branded foodservices products now appear in the retail ready meal space With the rise in consumers preparing dishes at home, foodservice operators are moving their brands into the ready meal space as highlighted in the examples on the right. For example, Italian food chain Pizza Express offers a range of products including mains that retail between £4.50 and £6 and highlights how a foodservice brand can be a powerful counter to the commoditizing and devaluing effect of own label on the ready meal category. Source: Datamonitor's Product Launch Analytics Carluccio's Ragu di Cinghiale UK 4 Divisions between foodservice and grocery retail are increasingly blurred Comfort & Uncertainty IHOP at Home – flatbread breakfast sandwich US Pizza Express – American Hot UK Overview Cocooning Trust & Transparency Localism Itsu Noodle Pot Thai Spicy Flavor UK
  5. 5. Health & Wellness Ready meals suffer from ingrained negative perceptions Frozen ready meals in particular face a challenge to alter perceptions In relation to frozen ready meals, a significant proportion of consumers (often wrongly) believe that freezing food compromises its nutritional quality. This is supported by consumer data from a survey conducted on behalf of the Policy Studies Institute in March 2010, which highlighted that almost one in five UK consumers believe that frozen vegetables do not count towards daily recommended intake. These perceptions represent a significant barrier to growth in the frozen food category. Increasing skepticism about processed foods While ready meals are increasingly becoming an essential part of many consumers' lives, consumers do not want to give up eating healthy foods and are therefore continuing to look for processed products that do not significantly differ from their fresh equivalents in terms of nutritional levels. The challenge for the ready meals industry is winning over skeptical consumers to the idea that health and convenience, which is often seen as mutually exclusive, can be effectively combined, and that ready meal products have health advantages (such as the preservation of nutrients). Source: Datamonitor’s Consumer Survey May/June 2011 5 Global: Consumers who are extremely or somewhat concerned about the impact of processed foods on their health, 2011 Global: Consumers who either strongly or tend to believe that freezing food compromises nutritional quality, 2011 Brazil 57% Russia 44% Global 35% US 24% China 64% UK 18% Overview Natural Positive Nutrition Weight Management Low salt
  6. 6. Sensory & Indulgence Potential for new product innovations is spurred by consumers' willingness to try new foods Foreign cultures drive diversity in food innovation Exposure to other cultures heavily influences consumers' taste in food. Highlighting this, over four in 10 consumers (43%) globally expressed this view in 2011, compared to only 20% who did not believe that their taste had changed due to exposure to other cultures. With consumers worldwide expressing a willingness to experiment with new cuisines, ready meal manufacturers would benefit from this shrinking-world scenario by marketing local ingredients from one region as a premium product in a different part of the world, where the same ingredients would be considered "exotic." Consumers are open to experimentation Globally, two thirds of consumers express an active interest in trying out different foods or making new things to eat¹. The majority of consumers are open to new and exotic flavors, although the appeal diminishes with age. Opportunities thus exist to develop more exotic and experimental product flavors in the ready meals category to appeal to consumer desire to try new things. Source: [1] Datamonitor’s Consumer Survey May/June 2011; Datamonitor's Consumer Survey May/June 20136 Global: consumers that agree with the statement: "My taste in food has changed as a result of exposure to foods from other cultures," 2011 Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree 43% 37% 20% Overview Taste Freshness Experimentation Global: consumers who consider a food or drink product with a “new or exotic flavor” appealing, 2013
  7. 7. Smart & Connected New consumer connections The consumer landscape has been fundamentally impacted by the advent and growing adoption of digital technologies. Consumers are no longer passively interacting with brands on static webpages; Internet utilization has facilitated new and novel ways of connecting with fellow consumers and discussing brands. As a result, consumers now have the ability and confidence to communicate with companies, obtain product information, and share their brand experiences in more unique and engaging ways. Proactive versus reactive The challenge for industry players is to strike a balance between reaching out to consumers online (thereby strategically crafting brand communication) and allowing brand conversations to take place organically between consumers (messages that cannot be controlled but are far more credible than brand-led communication). Digital technologies are transforming relationships between brands and consumers Source: Datamonitor's analysis7 • Share product experiences • Recommend products • Share group deals • Social gifting • Post video review blog • Share viral campaign Brands Consumers Consumers • Virtual supermarkets • Banner ads • Texts from brands or companies • Gamification • "Like" a brand on Facebook • Browse company website • "Check into" a business • Crowd-sourced branded content • QR codes on packaging Overview Online engagement Smart engagement New brand conversations taking place in today's digital consumer landscape