Report : Europe Ready-to-Eat Food Market Forecast to 2028 – COVID-19 Impact and Regional Analysis – by Product Type (Breakfast Cereals, Ready Meals, Instant Soups and Noodles, Snacks, Baked Goods & Confectioneries, and Others) and Distribution Channel (Supermarkets & Hypermarkets, Convenience Stores, Online Retail, and Others)

At 4.3% CAGR, the Europe Ready-to-Eat Food Market is speculated to be worth US$ 336.34 billion by 2028, says Business Market Insights   

According to Business Market Insights’ research, the Europe ready-to-eat food market was valued at US$ 252.29 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$ 336.34 billion by 2028, registering an annual growth rate of 4.3%  from 2021 to 2028. Firm preference for convenience food among millennials and burgeoning innovations in RTE products and strategic developments by manufacturers.                

Ready-to-eat food manufacturers are making significant investments in product innovation to attract a large number of consumers. They are offering organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, and plant-based products, and products suitable for a keto diet, which meet various requirements of consumers. Companies such as Kellogg’s Company, Nestle SA, and General Mills produce a variety of nutritious RTE products in different flavors and varieties. For instance, General Mills released a range of instant oatmeal cereals in 2021. Moreover, people are focusing on convenience food products while maintaining the nutritional balance in their diets. With the flourishing trend of veganism, manufacturers are also venturing into a plant-based food segment. For instance, Nestlé-owned brand, freshly launched its first fully vegan meal line in August 2021. The consumption of high-quality convenience food is increasing, which is currently one of the biggest trends in the food industry. Convenience food, such as ready-to-eat food, allows consumers to save time and efforts associated with ingredient shopping, meal preparation and cooking, consumption, and post-meal activities. The development of this food segment is ascribed to many social changes; the most notable of these include the increasing number of smaller households and the rising millennial population across the region. Due to hectic work schedules, millennials prefer to be efficient with their time, rather than spending it on tedious tasks. Thus, they are more likely to spend their money on convenience, which dives the popularity of ready-to-eat food, such as baked products, snacks, and dairy products, among them. According to the data by Hartman Group, 96% of millennials replace a meal with a snack once a week, while 58% say they snack 4–5 times a day. 91% of all consumers say they eat snacks throughout the day while 8% say they forget all meals entirely and just snack. These factors are contributing to a major shift among millennials toward daily snacking, replacing meals with savory and sweet snacks, in various formats. Convenience and taste are the main desired attributes among adults while buying food. According to the 2017 Food and Health Survey of the "International Food Information Council" (IFIC), convenience is a key driver for millennials when purchasing food, while the taste is more essential for baby boomers. As they get older and wealthier, millennials’ preferences continue to shift toward more expensive eatables, such as customized healthy snacks, sugar-free confectioneries, and customize prepared meals. Meal kit delivery companies, such as Blue Apron, and supermarket delivery services, such as Amazon Fresh and Instacart, have benefited from this preference for convenience and quality. Moreover, they find RTE food handling easy due to the existence of evolved cold supply chains. Millennials with no access to cars and not willing to waste time commuting to grocery stores, especially in urban areas, prefer online buying of RTE products. Thus, with the increasing preference for convenience among millennials, the demand for ready-to-eat food is surging.  

On the contrary, high risk of microbial contamination in RTE products hurdles the growth of Europe ready-to-eat food market. 

Based on product type, the Europe ready-to-eat food market is divided into breakfast cereals, ready meals, instant soups and noodles, snacks, baked goods & confectioneries, and others. The others segment held 31.5% market share in 2021, amassing US$ 79.54 billion. It is projected to garner US$ 101.24 billion by 2028 to expand at 3.6% CAGR during 2021–2028.

Based on distribution channel, the Europe ready-to-eat food market is categorised into supermarkets & hypermarkets, convenience stores, online retail, and others. The supermarkets & hypermarkets segment held 53.9% market share in 2021, amassing US$ 136.06 billion. It is projected to garner US$ 177.13 billion by 2028 to expand at 3.9% CAGR during 2021–2028.

Based on country, the Europe ready-to-eat food market has been segmented into Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe.  Our regional analysis states that Rest of Europe captured 35.3% market share in 2021. It was assessed at US$  89.08 billion in 2021 and is likely to hit US$  113.63 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.6% during the forecast period.  

Key players dominating the Europe ready-to-eat food market are Nestlé SA; Conagra Brands Inc.; The Kraft Heinz Company; General Mills Inc.; MTR Foods Pvt Ltd.; Hormel Foods Corporation; Tyson Foods, Inc.; JBS S.A.; and The Kellogg Company among others.

  • In February 2022, Nestlé is bringing Garden Gourmet to UK supermarkets with the next generation of plant-based alternatives, the Sensational range. Plant-based fans in the UK are able to get their hands on the vegan products, which have already been very popular in the UK's out-of-home channel. The range initially includes four delicious and versatile plant-based products, consisting of the incredibly juicy burger, mince, Cumberland-style sausages and Mediterranean style filet pieces which can be easily switched into family favorite meals.

  In October 2021, General Mills announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire TNT Crust, a manufacturer of high-quality frozen pizza crusts for regional and national pizza chains, foodservice distributors, and retail outlets. TNT Crust is currently a portfolio company of Peak Rock Capital.

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