1.1 Definition and scope of study
Pre-cooked meals are dishes that only need to be heated, or quickly prepared, before being consumed. They can be found in different formats: canned, vacuum-packed or frozen. These ready-to-eat products are distributed in retail stores or small local shops and allow you to eat easily, avoiding concerns about home-made food.
Today we are witnessing a quantitative and qualitative diversification of recipes - and ingredients used - in order to satisfy new market segments that focus more on quality. The production chain also tends to be more complex, with distributors starting to manufacture their own products and with the emergence of young companies producing pre-cooked meals in an attempt to shake up the established hierarchy.
Brazil is the country with the highest number of frozen food consumers, according to a study conducted by Kantar Worldpanel. 61% of Brazilians said they prefer the convenience of frozen, ready or semi-ready meals. In the purchase decision process, the Brazilian consumer chooses factors such as price and convenience over brand, making this segment highly competitive, given the relative ease to enter the market. This happens mainly because 34% of the country's consumers, divided equally between classes AB and C, work full time and have little time to devote to family meals, opting for ready-frozen meals when eating. [Brazil Food Trends 2020]
The biggest trend today are healthy frozen foods, which use natural and organic products and go through controlled cooking and freezing processes. Meals for vegetarians and vegans have also been successful, as well as products intended for specific diets and weight loss.
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