Impact of COVID-19 on the Frozen Ready Meals Market

Frozen ready meals are complete meals that need no additional ingredients as opposed to other meals. They are an instant, convenient, affordable, and healthy alternative to fresh food.

By Reshma Raut – Jagtap & Amarnath Rajendran, research analysts, MarketsandMarkets Research Pvt. Ltd.

Ready meals consumption is influenced by the changing consumer lifestyles and new product launches by industry players. Given the shelf-life of products, their constant refrigeration keeps them free from microbial and fungal contamination.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses across industries in a very short time, including the frozen food and food supply chain. According to the VP of government and legal affairs at the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), “companies across the food supply chain are working around the clock to produce, transport, store, and distribute food around the country. The biggest misconception about COVID-19 is that empty grocery shelves are an indicator that there is a shortage of food due to the recent runs on grocery stores; however, these have created short-term disruptions as the supply chain works to catch up and replenish.” Sales of frozen foods, especially frozen ready meals, have increased, as consumers are stockpiling food products. Thus, the sales of frozen ready meals are positively impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Factors driving the growth of the frozen meals market

These can be attributed to the growing consumer preference for readymade foods, especially by the working population, supported by their income levels. Frozen ready meals can be stored for a longer duration, due to their shelf-life, without affecting the quality, based on the type of food. The availability of a wide variety of frozen ready meals on the global market has also contributed to the growth. However, as frozen ready meals are high in sodium and fat content, which can cause health risks, they become restraints to market growth. Currently, manufacturers are focusing on introducing ready meals with improved nutrition, quality, microbiological safety, and convenience of handling.

Frozen ready meals, such as frozen appetizers and frozen breakfast products, also provide an added convenience to consumers. Moreover, frozen ready meal vendors offer products, such as frozen pizza with various toppings, which boost their demand among consumers looking for quality and taste along with convenience. In fact, this convenience factor, related to the usage of frozen ready meals, is one of the significant attributes driving the growth of this market. According to MarketsandMarkets, global convenience food & ready meals market was valued at approximately USD67bn in 2018, with projected growth rate between 5% to 6%, until 2023.

To read the entire article, please access the “State of the Frozen Food Industry” dossier here.

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