APAC Prepared Meals Sector Will Grow at CAGR of 4.4% to US$27.5bn in 2022: GlobalData

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The Asia-Pacific (APAC) prepared meals sector is set to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% in value terms from US$22.2bn in 2017 to US$27.5bn in 2022, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s report, ‘Opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Prepared Meals Sector’ reveals that a large aging population, high disposable incomes, busy lifestyles and a sizeable proportion of millennial ‘health-conscious’ consumers seeking novel flavors across emerging countries, are some of the key drivers behind the growing demand for prepared mealsinfused with unique and healthy ingredients in the region.

Within the APAC region, Japan was the largest market in 2017 with a value share of 82.1%. India is expected to witness the fastest relative CAGR of 4.4% during 2017–2022, followed by China with a relative value CAGR of 2.9%.

Debakshi Sarkar, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Time-pressed, as well as health-conscious consumers are increasingly looking for easy-to-make and healthy options, and fueling the growth of prepared meals in the region.”

This is substantiated by the company’s 2018 Q3 consumer survey, where 64% APAC consumers stated that their choice of food products is often influenced by ‘how well the product aligns with their health & wellbeing’ and 64% of APAC consumers stated that the factor ‘how well the product aligns with my time and money constraints’ often influences their food purchases.

In terms of categories, ready meals held the largest share, accounting for 77.3% of total value sales, followed by Pizza with 16.7% and meal kits with 6% in 2017. The share of ready meals is expected to increase to 78.1% by 2022. During the same period, pizza’s share is forecast to decline to 16% while the share of meal kits is expected to marginally drop to 5.9%.

Sarkar adds: “Rising awareness of the harmful effects of additives and lack of adequate cold chain logistics for handling chilled and frozen prepared meals in developing countries are some of the key inhibitors restricting the growth of the prepared meals sector in the region.”

Consumers in countries such as India and China, prefer food items tailor-made to their needs and  references and therefore, opt for prepared meals which are specifically made for certain age groups, lifestyles and nutritional requirements.

Sarkar concludes: “Prepared meals will become healthier as high pressure processing (HPP) technology, which increases the shelf life of food and beverages, trickles down into the prepared meals space. In the future, more and more manufacturers will apply this technology in view of its benefits.”