Frozen ready meals are in high demand in Greece

According to the latest ICAP study, in recent years there has been an increase in the demand for ready-made meals in Greece – their sales are constantly increasing.

According to experts, the rapid rhythm of modern life is to blame for everything. To a large extent, the commitment to ready-made meals was also facilitated by the pandemic, during which people stocked up for the future with a large amount of food – canned and frozen, the researchers say. In the first place in sales – frozen foods and all kinds of pastries.

The upward trajectory of demand for finished products was noted back in 2017, since then the increase in sales has been happening every year. Ready-made meals that Greek consumers are happy to purchase in supermarkets can be roughly divided into four main categories: frozen, chilled, room temperature and dried. The first is the most popular, the last the least. In 2021, the demand for these products, as a percentage of the total, was:

  • frozen – 47.0%;
  • canned – 25.0%;
  • chilled – 16%;
  • prepared hot, category “ζεστής γωνιάς” – 9.6%;
  • dried – 2.3%.

The frozen ready-to-eat category grew by nearly 8% over the 2019-2021 period, with growth expected to be at least 1.1% this year, according to the study. Frozen pies account for the largest share of sales, followed by frozen ready meals based on meat, chicken and fish. Other types of frozen dishes are not in such great demand and follow them in the ranking by a wide margin.

Canned ready meals took advantage of the pandemic period, benefiting significantly from conditions and posting a 6.3% increase in their share of total sales. In 2021, the upward trend continued, showing a level of 3%. Experts say that further strengthening of the market for ready-made canned meals will be recorded this year as well.

The category of non-frozen ready meals, stored in a conventional refrigerator, showed an upward trend in the 2019-2021 triennium, and is estimated to continue this year. This was facilitated, among other things, by the increase in consumers who prefer healthy eating. In this category, a significant part is occupied by ready-to-eat salad dishes.

A similar trend is in the category “hot corner” (hot corner). True, these products face stiffer competition due to shipping, but their comparatively lower prices are attractive. However, according to ICAP data, this category is expected to decline in popularity by about 7.5% in 2022 compared to 2021.

Dried foods have traditionally occupied a small niche in the prepared food market. However, some newly introduced or from new launches (ready-made pasta or noodles) show sales growth over the past three years and positive prospects for the future. CNN Greece.

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