Summary

The global ready meals market has been growing, with an average annual increase of around 5.1% expected between 2022 and 2030, when it is expected to reach a value of 244 billion euros. Frozen meals dominate the market, with frozen pizza as the flagship product, and canned meals are expected to experience the fastest growth over this period. Despite a mature and sluggish French market, innovations such as vegetarian dishes, gluten-free meals and biodegradable packaging are gaining ground. In France, the ready-cooked meals market is estimated at over€1 billion in 2021, up 1.3% on 2020. French exports of ready-made meals went mainly to Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany. Large companies and supermarkets/hypermarkets dominate distribution and production, although start-ups and digital platforms like FoodChéri are emerging and focusing on the delivery of high-quality, healthy and conveniently accessible meals.

Contemporary dynamics of the ready-cooked meals market in France

In France, the ready-made meals sector is undergoing significant change. As a sign of the market's maturity, consumers are now showing a preference for variety, both in terms of recipes and food sizes.traditional meats to include vegetables, seafood and fish, thus meeting higher quality requirements. This change was partly triggered by the horsemeat debacle that shook the market, precipitating a trend towards diversification and quality control. The complex dance of the supply chain is becoming increasingly evident, with retailers replacing manufacturers, while new meal preparation companies vie for market share traditionally held by industry heavyweights.

While the global sector seems to be on an upward trajectory, the French market is cautiously optimistic. Consumers regard ready-made meals as unsavory, and this is an obstacle to market development. As a result, manufacturers are investing in innovation - launching new vegetarian and gluten-free options and even venturing into biodegradable packaging solutions.

Dominant market players such as Sodebo and Fleury Michon can be found on the shelves of giant supermarkets and small local stores, forming a complex tapestry with other entities such as Carrefour and Auchan, as well as dynamic digital platforms like Weight Watchers. Analysis of consumer behavior reveals some interesting insights into ready meal consumption habits. A significant proportion of the population, around 80%, would turn to these products at lunchtime, citing time-saving and convenience as their main motivations.

In addition, affordability plays a role in consumption rates, with more modest households tending to use these products more. Age groups are not left out, with young people aged 18 to 24 being the most likely to indulge in ready meals. In terms of product popularity, meat dishes come out on top, adopted by almost 85% of the population, while potato dishes lag well behind. Despite this hierarchy, one trend is observable across all categories: fresh, canned and frozen ready meals are all gaining in popularity with French consumers. Underlying drivers of demand include urbanization, commuting considerations, the origin of ingredients and shorter meal preparation times.

Profile of key players in the ready-to-eat market landscape

The ready-to-eat meals market is characterized by a dynamic mix of established companies and emerging start-ups that contribute to the sector's dynamism and competitiveness.

The most notable participants include:

Caterers

  • Fauchon: Renowned for its luxury gastronomy, this caterer has extended its expertise to the ready-to-eat market, offering gourmet selections designed for convenience without sacrificing the culinary excellence for which it is known.
  • Lenotre: Another titan in high-end catering, Lenotre is renowned for its exquisite dishes, and its entry into the ready-made meals market continues its tradition of quality and refined taste.

The manufacturers:

  • Sodebo: a family-run company particularly known for its sandwiches, pastaboxes and pizzas
  • WWW France (formerly Weight Watchers): **With a focus on health and wellness, this player offers ready-to-eat meals that are both practical and tailored to weight management and dietary goals.
  • Fleury Michon: A well-known brand in France, Fleury Michon excels in producing a wide range of ready-to-eat options, from charcuterie to complete meals, with an emphasis on taste and nutritional balance.
  • Bjorg (Ecotone): An organic-focused brand that has successfully developed in the ready-to-eat market, offering dishes that meet the needs of health-conscious consumers who favor sustainable, organic ingredients.
  • Marie: Positioned in the chilled and frozen meal segments, Marie offers a mix of traditional and modern dishes that aim to provide family-friendly flavors in a convenient format.
  • Sushi Shop Restauration: As its name suggests, Sushi Shop specializes in supplying sushi and other Japanese dishes in a ready-to-eat format, responding to the growing demand for Asian flavors.
  • William Saurin: A long-standing player in the canned ready meals market, William Saurin offers hearty French dishes renowned for their convenience and long shelf life.

Distributors:

  • Carrefour France: One of the giants of the supermarket chain, Carrefour supplies a variety of ready-made meals under its brand, including organic products and special diets.
  • Auchan Retail: Another retail heavyweight, Auchan offers ready-made meals that meet consumers' needs
  • Picard: Titan of the frozen food segment, Picard offers a wide range of ready-made meals that appeal to consumers looking for quality and variety. Their frozen products range from traditional French cuisine to international flavors, adapting to a wide range of palates.
Get all the information you need
to understand this market

Detailed content

Inforamtion

  • Number of pages : 30 pages
  • Format : Digital and PDF versions
  • Last update : 27/04/2023
Update Details

Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Market definition

Ready-to-eat meals are fast-moving consumer products that must only be reheated or prepared as little as possible before eating. They can be found in various forms: canned, vacuum-packed, or frozen. According to the INSEE definition, ready meals are prepared dishes that are ready to eat (prepared, seasoned, or cooked).

These ready-to-eat products are distributed in supermarkets or small local stores and enable employees or families to eat quickly without the hassle of cooking at home.

Today, we are witnessing a diversification of recipes - quantitatively and qualitatively - and of the foods used - meat, vegetables, seafood, fish - to suit new market segments with higher quality requirements, particularly after the scandals that hit the market in 2013 with the horsemeat fraud.

The production chain is also becoming more complex, with distributors starting to manufacture their products and with the emergence of these young ready-made meal companies seeking to challenge the control of a few large corporations.

The global market for ready-made meals is growing, and according to specialists, it will grow by an average of around 5.1% a year between 2022 and 2030.

However, the French market is more mature and less dynamic. Ready-made meals are considered unhealthy by some sections of the population, and the market will have to overcome this view if it is to continue to evolve. However, the market's many innovations are paying off. Most manufacturers offer new vegetarian and gluten-free ranges, and some even invest in biodegradable packaging.

Players in this market include ready-to-eat manufacturers such as Sodebo and Fleury Michon and the supermarkets and hypermarkets where most ready-to-eat products are sold. These include Carrefour and Auchan and smaller outlets such as Franprix and grocery stores. Sometimes, retail chains can also be manufacturers: this is the case with Carrefour, Franprix, and Marks and Spencer. Digital players, such as Weight Watchers, also deliver individual ready-to-eat meals for consumption both at home and away from home.

1.2 A growing global market

Frozen meals represent the largest market share in **** and are set to maintain their lead over the forecast period thanks to a wide range of products with long shelf lives and consumer convenience. Frozen pizza is the most popular frozen-ready meal, significantly contributing to global revenues. Also, due to their convenience, ...

1.3 France: a major market for ready-made meals

In France, the ready-cooked meals market is estimated at over €* billion in ****, up +*.*% in ****. Between **** and ****, the market was relatively stable before increasing in ****.[***]

French ready meals market France, ****-****, in millions of euros Source: ****

The majority of French people say they consume ready-made meals on an occasional or regular ...

1.4 France's foreign trade

French exports of ready-made meals:

Main export destinations for ready-made meals France, ****, millions of euros Source: French Customs The vast majority of French exports in **** were destined for * countries: Belgium, the UK, Spain, and Germany. These four countries represent a total export value of over ***.* million euros in the same year, ...

1.5 The impact of Covid-19 on the ready-made meals market

Against all expectations on the part of market players, the coronavirus crisis has boosted sales of ready-made meals in France. Ready-made meals have the advantage of being cheap, easy to store, and easy to cook. Against a backdrop of economic crisis linked to the pandemic and the waves of fear that ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Consumer profile

Ready meal consumption by time of day

According to a study published in **** by the Institut National de la Consommation, **% of those surveyed would consume ready-made meals more frequently at lunch than at dinner. The main reasons cited are time-saving and convenience.

Consumption occasions for ready-made meals France, ****, in Source: ****

Ready ...

2.2 Demand for prepared meals by product category

Aggregated demand:

Data from France Agrimer's latest **** study published in **** shows that the hierarchy of prepared dishes from most consumed to least consumed has not changed over the ****-**** period. We can, therefore, imagine a stable trend over the years, which continues today despite possible changes in proportions. Over the entire ...

2.3 Demand drivers

According to the French Ministry of Agriculture'sprêt à manger report , urbanization is one of the factors driving the consumption of ready-made meals. Housing is being concentrated on the outskirts, while jobs are increasingly located in city centers (***). The commuting involved in this double concentration reduces the amount of time French people ...

2.4 An increasingly demanding market

Rapid consumption

Increasingly, consumers are turning to home and office delivery services for their lunch and dinner needs. With a market capitalization of just under $*.* billion, Deliveroo is a potential threat to the market for ready-made meals consumed by workers who prioritize speed and consumed ready-made meals until now[***].

Product ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market organization and distribution

The market can be broken down into two main categories:

Manufacturers (***). Distributors (***).

The manufacturers ' market is an oligopoly, with a few companies controlling the market (***).

Ready meal distribution:

There are no exact statistics on the distribution of ready-made meals in supermarkets. However, it is possible to give an overview using ...

3.2 A market dominated by large companies

A handful of major companies dominate the French market with brands distributed in large and small stores.

Breakdown of the total number of ready-to-heat microwave meals France, ****, in % Source: ****

Several insights can be gleaned from this data. First, we can segment the market into * roughly equal parts regarding market share.

The ...

3.3 The French production fabric

As can be seen from the graphs below, the number of players in the ready meals market is growing. The market is becoming slightly denser, with new players entering the market at a rate of around *% per year.

Number of companies in NAF code **.**Z - Manufacture of prepared meals France, ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Product typology and production processes

Product classification:

The ready-made meals available on the market are numerous. We can begin by classifying them according to the type of products used in their manufacture:

meat-based ready meals ; pasta-based ready meals ; fish-based ready meals; potato-based ready meals; pizzas/quiches/pies/pies.

They can also be classified according to the ...

4.2 Offers in all price ranges

Ready-made meal prices

Prices for ready-made meals vary little - most are between €*.* and €*. However, it is possible to note a few differences depending on the nature of the products available on the websites of the major retail brands:

The "classic" range, whose products are nothing special - famous chefs neither ...

4.3 An offering undergoing a complete makeover

Moving upmarket with certain ready-made meals:

At a time when the range of ready-made products is expanding with distributors' brands, companies that have been present on the market for a long time, or new entrants, are seeking to distinguish themselves by offering upmarket products. This trend is reflected in the development ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Current regulations

Health scandals regularly make the headlines (***), despite the rules in force, the main points of which are[***]:

In the case of heat preservation

Raw materials: must be fit for consumption and show no signs of deterioration; Packaging - storage: As soon as cooking is complete, food must be packaged and stored ...

List of charts

  • Estimated growth in the global ready meals market
  • Distribution of ready-made meals
  • Breakdown of French households' annual purchases of ready-made meals
  • Breakdown of ready-made meal sales by category
  • French ready meals market
Show more Hide

All our studies are available online in PDF format

Take a look at an example of our research on another market!

Do you have a question about this study?   +44 238 097 0676

Latest news

Fleury Michon, the king of ham, bets on plant-based products with vegetable slices - 28/03/2024
  • - Fleury Michon sales: 795 million euros.
  • - Products offered: three legume-based products (coral lentils, chickpeas, white beans)
  • - Target market: 50% of consumers in France claim to be flexitarians.
  • - Annual decline in the pork ham market: 2% to 3% in volume since 2015
  • - Estimated supermarket delicatessen market for plant-based products: close to 150 million euros, up by around 3% in volume.
  • fleury Michon's "nitrite-free" market share: 62% of sales.
Auchan faces another "difficult" year in 2023 - 22/02/2024
  • -Auchan net loss in 2023: 379 million euros
  • - Previous year's profit: 33 million euros
  • - Auchan's position in the French retail sector: 5th
  • - Revenue in 2023: down 1.7% to 32.9 billion euros
  • - Share of hypermarkets in Auchan's store base: 21%
  • - Acquisition of Casino stores by Auchan and Intermarché: 70 supermarkets, 26 hypermarkets, including five larger than 9,000 m2, and two drives
Auchan: New Beginnings - 06/12/2023
  • Gérard Mulliez founded Auchan in 1961.
  • Auchan hypermarkets account for 80% of the company's sales.
  • Auchan's market share has fallen from over 10% five years ago to 8.4% today.
  • Failed attempt by the Mulliez family to take over Carrefour in October 2021.
  • Auchan and Intermarché are looking to form a product purchasing alliance, which would give them a combined market share of 30%.
  • Auchan and Intermarché have been trying to share nearly 300 hypers and supermarkets that Casino is due to sell.
Maître Coq keeps up recruitment despite lower consumer spending - 13/11/2023
  • Vendée poultry manufacturer
  • The subsidiary of the Sarthois LDC group is expanding its production lines for breaded chickens and roasted marinated products such as Coq'ailes, Wings and Ribs.
  • The LDC group, based in Saint-Fulgent (Vendée), employs 2,600 people at 10 sites
  • Maître Coq devotes a large part of its investment to slaughterhouse robotization
  • Maître Coq achieved sales of 710 million euros 2023
  • Maître Coq employs 2,600 people at 6 production sites (5 in Vendée and 1 in Auvergne), 1 logistics platform and 1 head office in Vendée
Meatless meals: Lesieur puts its plant-based cooking at the heart of meals - 08/10/2023
  • Lesieur was created in 1908. Lesieur was acquired by the Avril Group in 2022.
  • Lesieur aims to capture 5% of the vegetable market within two years.
  • Growth in the vegetal market is 5%.
  • The plant-based market represents some 430 million euros, and includes sales of plant-based beverages, ultra-fresh products and fresh delicatessen products.
  • Lesieur plans to launch new recipes in 2024 and 2025.
Picard has reinvented itself in three strategic moves - 23/09/2023
  • Picard currently has over 1,050 stores.
  • Forty store openings are expected by 2026, including 25 franchises in towns of 10,000 inhabitants.
  • Internationally, Picard has set up a dozen corners in Marks & Spencer stores in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Hong Kong.
  • The company has partnered with Chronofresh for home delivery throughout France, and has set up a home delivery service in under 15 minutes with Deliveroo.
  • The click & collect service has been extended to all stores since November 2021.
  • The company has begun distributing non-frozen products, including savory and sweet groceries and wine.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Fauchon
Picard Surgelés
William Saurin (Cofigeo Groupe)
Marie (LDC Groupe)
Fleury Michon
Weight Watchers
Bjorg (Ecotone)
Auchan groupe
Marks & Spencer
Feed
Foodchéri
Nestor (Elior)

Choosing this study means :

Access to more than 35 hours of work

Our studies are the result of over 35 hours of research and analysis. Using our studies allows you to devote more time and added value to your projects.

Benefit from 6 years' experience and over 1,500 industry reports already produced

Our expertise enables us to produce comprehensive studies in all sectors, including niche and emerging markets.

Our know-how and methodology enable us to produce reports that offer unique value for money.

Access to several thousand articles and paid-for data

Businesscoot has access to all the paid economic press as well as exclusive databases to carry out its market research (over 30,000 articles and private sources).

To enhance our research, our analysts also use web indicators (semrush, trends, etc.) to identify market trends and company strategies. (Consult our paying sources)

Guaranteed support after your purchase

A team dedicated to after-sales service, to guarantee you a high level of satisfaction. +44 238 097 0676

A digital format designed for our users

Not only do you have access to a PDF, but also to a digital version designed for our customers. This version gives you access to sources, data in Excel format and graphics. The content of the study can therefore be easily retrieved and adapted for your specific needs.

Our offers :

the ready meal market | France

89 €
  • What are the figures on the size and growth of the market?
  • What is driving the growth of the market and its evolution?
  • What is the positioning of companies in the value chain?
  • Data from several dozen databases

Pack 5 études (-15%) France

75.6 € / study
378 € instead of 445 € -15%
  • 5 études au prix de 75,6€HT par étude à choisir parmi nos 800 titres sur le catalogue France pendant 12 mois
  • Conservez -15% sur les études supplémentaires achetées
  • Choisissez le remboursement des crédits non consommés au terme des 12 mois (durée du pack)

Consultez les conditions du pack et de remboursement des crédits non consommés.

Updates

Do you have a question ?
Our team is at your disposal at   +44 238 097 0676