Ready Meals Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Ready Meals Market is Segmented by Product Type (Frozen Ready Meals, Chilled Ready Meals, Canned Ready Meals, and Freeze Dried Ready Meals); by Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/ Hypermarkets, Convenience Stores, Online Retailers, and Other Distribution Channels); and by Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and Middle East and Africa). The report offers market size and forecasts for ready meals (in USD billion) for the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Ready Meals Market Bar Graph
Study Period:

2016 - 2026

Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:

Asia Pacific

Largest Market:



4.62 %

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Market Overview

The global ready meals market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.62% during the forecast period (2021 - 2026).

The demand for these convenience products is on the rise, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, they are majorly distributed via the online retail channel. Severe lockdown measures have been introduced in restaurants, hotels and malls, which has further affected the eating habits, as the lockdown and public safety measures interfered with regular eating habits. This factor has also impacted many individuals to shift to home-cooked meals and packaged ready foods, due to the limited availability of dining-out options. During the COVID-19 outbreak, people have been anxious and stressed about the shortage of food in the future. This fear resulted in purchasing packaged and long-life ready meals food instead of fresh food, however, this has impacted the quality, led to weight gain and increased the intake of oxidants.​

The major factor driving the market is the convenience provided in terms of time-saving, less effort of cooking and ease of handling and storage. Moreover, the busy schedules, increasing number of employees and students are also owing to the growth of the market.

Consumer interest in new products, and ingredients is on the rise, and it is expected to witness positive developments. Apart from traditional cuisine, people are keen to try different meals from other ethnicities, for example, Indian, Thai, and Italian. Therefore, preference for ethnic food has been driving the demand for these food products.

Scope of the Report

Ready meals are complete meals that are sold in shops. They are already prepared and the consumer only need only heat them before eating them. The global ready meals market is segmented by product type into frozen ready meals, chilled ready meals, canned ready meals and freeze dried ready meals. By distribution channel, the market is segmented into supermarkets/ hypermarkets, convenience stores, online retailers, other distribution channels. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of value (in USD billion).

By Product Type
Frozen Ready Meals
Chilled Ready Meals
Canned Ready Meals
Freeze Dried Ready Meals
By Distribution Channel
Convenience Stores
Online Retail Stores
Other Distribution Channels
By Geography
North America
United States
Rest of North America
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia-Pacific
South America
Rest of South America
Middle East and Africa
South Africa
United Arab Emirates
Rest of Middle East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Inclination Toward Organic Ready Meals

Consumers have begun to place more value on food that offers them functional benefits apart from taste, thereby, increasing the demand for healthy, natural, and safe ready meals. These organic food alternatives are positively impacting the growth of the market.

Health awareness and concerns for food safety are leading to more consumers carefully selecting their ready meals, to avoid adverse health effects. Also, organic ready meals are deriving a lot of their value through consumer trust and their perception of the products being healthy.

Ready meals are becoming highly popular in the packaged food market due to their convenience and portability. In addition to this, organic ready meals are gaining traction as they are verified natural products that could substitute a full meal, and also, they are healthier than traditional ready meals due to portion-size packaging.

Ready Meals Market Key Trends

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Europe Remains the Major Market

The increasing demand for natural products that offer a high level of convenience emphasizes the trend for ready-meals in Europe. Consumer demand for natural ready-meals, with few or no additives, has increased significantly in Europe. For instance, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the household consumption of ready meals continued to grow at a steady pace between 2014 - 2016, creating opportunities for selling all types of ready meals in Germany, as the consumption of frozen ready foods is likely to increase during the forecast period. Hence, the convenience factor remains paramount in Germany and in other European countries with consumers demanding quick and easy preparation. On the other hand, COVID-19 has also resulted in the generation of opportunities for many private players to emerge in the markets to cater to the inflated demand.

Ready Meals Market Growth Rate By Region

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Competitive Landscape

The ready foods market is a highly competitive market with the top players holding the major market share. Nonetheless, the various small and regional players are also significantly investing in research and development in order to compete with dominating players. The major players are also focusing on mergers and acquisitions as the key market strategy, in order to cater to the rising demand for ready meals across regions. For instance, Nomad Foods acquired British frozen foods maker, Aunt Bessie’s, from William Jackson & Son Ltd for EUR 240 million. Aunt Bessie’s, known for its Yorkshire puddings and frozen potatoes, expanded Nomad’s footprint in the United Kingdom. Nomad Foods Ltd, Nestlé, McCain Foods, Findus Group Ltd, Premier Foods, ConAgra, etc are the major players in the market.

Recent Developments

In April 2018, the Campbell Soup Company announced the strategic reorganization thus positioning the company to better capitalize on the rapidly changing food industry landscape. This new structure organizes Campbell’s core business operations—including its important soup, simple meals and shelf-stable beverages portfolios and its powerful snacks portfolio.

In June 2018, Conagra Brands acquired Pinnacle Foods. Pinnacle’s ownership of specialty gluten-free baked goods brands, like Udi’s and Glutino, may help Conagra Brands to gain a competitive advantage. Through this acquisition the company is combing two portfolios with industry-leading growth to create a USD 11 billion company with iconic brands in frozen, snacking, refrigerated, and grocery categories.

In March 2018, McCain and Forno de Minas, the leader in cheese breads, entered into an agreement, under which McCain will acquire a 49% interest in Forno de Minas.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Drivers

    2. 4.2 Market Restraints

    3. 4.3 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Product Type

      1. 5.1.1 Frozen Ready Meals

      2. 5.1.2 Chilled Ready Meals

      3. 5.1.3 Canned Ready Meals

      4. 5.1.4 Freeze Dried Ready Meals

    2. 5.2 By Distribution Channel

      1. 5.2.1 Supermarkets/Hypermarkets

      2. 5.2.2 Convenience Stores

      3. 5.2.3 Online Retail Stores

      4. 5.2.4 Other Distribution Channels

    3. 5.3 By Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

        4. Rest of North America

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. United Kingdom

        2. Germany

        3. Spain

        4. France

        5. Italy

        6. Russia

        7. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Australia

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle East and Africa

        1. South Africa

        2. United Arab Emirates

        3. Rest of Middle East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Most Active Companies

    2. 6.2 Most Adopted Strategies

    3. 6.3 Market Share Analysis

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 The Campbell Soup Company

      2. 6.4.2 Conagra Brands Inc.

      3. 6.4.3 Hormel Foods Corporation

      4. 6.4.4 Iceland Foods Ltd

      5. 6.4.5 McCain Foods Limited

      6. 6.4.6 Nestle SA

      7. 6.4.7 The Kraft Heinz Company

      8. 6.4.8 Nomad Foods Group

      9. 6.4.9 Unilever

      10. 6.4.10 Tyson Foods Inc.

    5. *List Not Exhaustive


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Ready Meals Market market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Ready Meals Market is growing at a CAGR of 4.62% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Europe holds highest share in 2020.

  • Nestle SA
  • Conagra Brands, Inc.
  • Unilever PLC
  • Nomad Foods Group
  • McCain Foods Limited

Are the major companies operating in Ready Meals Market.

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