Growth for ready meals in eastern Europe

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ready meals, European union, Czech republic, Tv dinner

A lack of time and increasing incomes levels are the main reasons
for the huge increase in the ready meals and chilled food sectors
in eastern Europe. This week's product launches tracked by Mintel's
GNPD database are testimony to the growing diversity and
sophistication of this segment.

Although there is still a fairly low consumption of these products in the region, Francisco Redruello, analyst at Euromonitor​, believes that there is plenty of potential for future growth in the segment. According to Euromonitor's data, per capita consumption of ready meals was only $4.6 in 2003 compared to $38.6 in western Europe the same year, reflecting significant market potential.

"We think that there is still a high potential for growth in the medium term, especially in the ready meals sector,"​ said Redruello. "This applies especially to countries such as Russia, where we forecast a growth of over 70 per cent in constant value until 2008. The positive prospects of these products are in line with the economic growth expected in the next few years and the subsequent sophistication of the consumer market.

"Subsequently, growth in consumer expenditure will be particularly apparent for new members of the European Union such as Poland, where we forecast a growth in constant value of over 32 per cent and 13 per cent in ready meals and chilled food respectively."

Moving on to this week's launches, we first turn to the Czech Republic where Veglife is launching Penne al Pomodore e Olive under the Heli Bistro label. The company specialises in vegetarian dishes and is launching this 400 gram ready meal in a thermo-formed plastic tray that will retail at €1.59. This is a product extension to an existing line. The meal contains penne pasta with a tomato and olive sauce that is said to be low in cholesterol and it can be cooked in a microwave in three minutes.

The Czech Republic is also witnessing the launch of Guseppe's 4 Druhy Syru/ 4 Cheese Pizza. Packed in a flat boarded carton, the 460 gram pizza is expected to retail at €2.07 and was launched on to the market last month. It contains Edam, Mozarella, Niva and Salkan cheeses and is said to be suitable for microwave cooking.

In Poland Lisner is launching Salatka Herring & Beetroot Salad under the Smako brand. This ready meal salad is packaged in a plastic tub that contains 150 grams of herring and beetroot salad. The brand new product range also includes a mild herring version as well as tuna rice and Russian salad recipes. It retails at $0.31 and was launched on the market in June.

Still in Poland, Kotwica is launching Pasztet z Indyka Turkey pie. Packaged in foil and clear plastic this 500 gram pie will retail at €0.97 when it is launched on to the market during the course of this month. It contains turkey meat, poultry skin and pork liver that is pastry covered. Also in the same product line is wild boar pie, Pasztet Dzika.

Darya Prepared Food is launching a prepared roast veal meal on the Russian market. The 450 gram pack is packaged in a flexible, sealed wrapping that contains frozen veal in one compartment, with rice in a second compartment and mixed vegetables with a cheese sauce in a third compartment. Darya says that the product will retail for €2.90 when its is launched during the course of this month.

This range of chilled foods and ready meals is part of a selection from Mintel's Global New Product Database​.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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