Factors Affecting Ready Meals Market

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‘One in seven adults are too busy to cook’

The market of ready meals has grown remarkably in the recent years. Previously perceived as non-healthy and an indulgence, it has adapted to changing consumer demands and lifestyles.

In 2007, the research company Mintel reported that the ready meals market within the five largest European Countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) increased by 5% between 2006 and 2007, reaching a total sales value of €8.4 billion. A growth of 18% to reach the €10 billion mark by 2011 was also predicted. The market was worth €2 billion in the UK in 2007 with a prediction that between 2006 and 2011, sales would reach €3.7 billion in the UK.

Moreover, it seems that the UK has a much higher growth of sales per head of population than in France and Germany with only 9% of Germans predicted to eat a ready meal each week. The ready meals market is very competitive and the main competitors are: Heinz, Findus group, Meal Kits, Premier Foods, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

Changes in the marketing environment have certainly influenced positively the growth of the ready meals market. This PESTEL Analysis will help to analyse the ready meals’ market environment and identify the factors that influenced its growth.

Political factors: The government is concerned about the health of the society and is promoting healthy eating and encouraging people to choose healthier lifestyle option. The government has repeated warnings about the potentially dangerous levels of salt contents in some ready meals. Economical According to Ready Meals, a new report published by market intelligence provider Key Note, the market for ready meals grew by 6.6% in 2011, to reach a value of £1.85bn. The economic crisis and a demand for convenient mealtime solutions are the main factors behind this growth. Although consumer confidence has plummeted with the economic crisis and a cloud of financial uncertainty hangs over the public's head, the...
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