Convenience trends have returned with an 11.5% uptick in ready meals that require little to no preparation as shoppers return to their post-pandemic lives.
While the peak of lockdown saw a rise people making home-made meals from scratch, convenient meals have now reached a five-year high.
In the past year, spending on red meat pre-prepared meals was worth over £1 billion to retailers, with 260 million convenience meals eaten in January 2022 alone.
The data, from Kantar, also revealed that the ease of preparing meals has become more important than how quickly they can be prepared – meaning the price of pre-prepared meals may be putting consumers off.
Driving the growth of the pre-prepared meal sector were those based on meat, dish and poultry (MFP), which increased by 3.2% in the year ending in 20 February 2022.
Shoppers under 28 drove the MFP pre-prepared growth as they increased volumes by more than half (+50.5%).
However, the growing popularity of convenient meals hasn’t benefitted convenience stores which have seen their sales in this sector decrease by 6.6.%. Meanwhile, discounters have experienced a 7.2% growth in MFP meal sales.