Ready meal sales rise by 11.5%

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.

READ MORE: Tesco raises cost of lunchtime meal deal to £3.50

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.

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