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Big appetite for ready-to-eat meals

Neither the pandemic nor inflation is said to have been able to halt the significant prospects of instant meals

The Greek market of ready-to-eat meals is developing rapidly. Both the retail and food industries are claiming a share of the “pie”, that exceeds 10 billion euros.

Neither the pandemic nor inflation is said to have been able to halt the significant prospects of instant meals, as it is a trend that is here to stay and brings changes to the wider food industry. The consumption of ready meals has started to mature among the domestic young audience while at the same time it is slowly emerging as an economical solution for older age groups as well.

Ready-to-eat meals with the Greek “flavor” are also a particularly attractive proposition for foreign municipalities that have developed this diet for a decade. They can be consumed easily and everywhere, while their storage is equally flexible.

The comfort and above all the convenience of the consumer are the “key” points, and for this reason, organized retail, small and large as well as the domestic food industry directs a significant amount of capital by strategically investing in instant meals.

Standard ready to eat meals, available at retail, are divided into four main categories in terms of their form of supply: frozen, refrigerator temperature branches, ambient temperature, canned dried.

For the food industry, the category is a huge field of innovation but at the same time a passport to international shelves, while for retail, the provision of such cooked meals is developing into a “bark” as it attracts more and more consumers into stores.

Considering that the food service turnover in Greece is estimated to reach 10.5 billion euros in 2024 – i.e. it will touch the performance of organized food retail – the field of instant meals emerges as the most attractive for the sector, which claims the “orphan” turnover of the focus.

There is no recently recorded data on the exact size of the domestic ready meals market. However, a related survey by ICAP Group in 2021 recorded a sample of 26 companies active in the categories that appeared in 2020 with total sales of 442.7 million euros.