World Market for Cooking Ingredients and Meals

May 2024

Cooking ingredients and meals has experienced turbulent times, with inflationary pressures and changing working environments in the post-pandemic world causing both channel and category shifts. Consumers are changing their cooking and eating habits, requiring companies to adapt and provide innovations. Focusing on sustainable and health-focused solutions is expected to generate growth over the forecast period, while the premium segment is expected to bring excitement to the market.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Plant-based options are becoming more prevalent in cooking ingredients and meals categories

Plant-based options were historically scarce across cooking ingredients and meals categories but have been expanding in global markets. Trust in labels like “vegan” has grown significantly over the last few years, as exposure increases. While plant-focused diets are gaining popularity, products with such claims have low penetration, leaving room for new entries focusing on familiar tastes and ease of use.

Health features are pivotal in the industry and are entering even the most indulgent categories

Demand for cooking ingredients and meals with more nutritious ingredients continues to rise. Health claims linked to reduced sugar, gluten-free and lactose-free options have experienced substantial growth in the industry. In the case of sweet spreads, which are often seen as unhealthy, demand for lower sugar content and added fibre or protein has been on the rise. Permissible indulgence will drive the development of product variations with improved recipes and catering to various dietary needs.

Premiumisation through flavour, experience and convenience is set to drive industry growth

Over 2022-2023, global economies went through turbulent times, with many households having to cut their expenditure on non-essential items. Despite the cost-of-living crisis, premiumisation continues to rise, as many consumers still want high-quality, gourmet products that also provide the convenience of easy meal preparation. Focusing on improving the overall experience of products like ready meals or sauces will remain important.

Sustainable product solutions are gaining in importance, and claims are becoming more diversified

Consumers are increasingly focused on sustainability and their impact on the environment. Organic has been at the forefront of providing a “greener” choice when shopping, but other sustainable sourcing claims are gaining interest, too. The cooking ingredients and meals industry, with its diverse product range and wide variety of ingredient sources, is expected to see a rise in products with sustainable sourcing claims focusing not only on agriculture but fisheries, forestry and packaging.

New retail solutions catering to consumer needs are gaining attention

New retail solutions are taking ready meal convenience to the next level. Choice is becoming more important for consumers, and pure ready meal stores can provide this, while also gathering feedback direct from consumers. Unconventional working hours often limit food choices, thus vending machines are a promising way to expand purchasing occasions for ready meals. More retail solutions offering convenience are expected to be seen over the forecast period.


Examining five trends shaping the cooking ingredients and meals industry
Polarisation becoming more pronounced in cooking ingredients and meals
Edible oils shortage causing market disturbance and continued price growth
Developed markets see slower growth in cooking ingredients and meals
Edible oil prices facing long-term challenges amidst climate change effects
Asia Pacific to contribute the majority of absolute growth across all categories
Sauces, dips and condiments to see dynamic growth, driven by new launches
Sunflower seed oil still has significant potential for growth
Inflationary pressures drive discounters’ growth
Flexibility to meet consumers’ needs allows small players and private label to gain share
Unil ever manages to gain back lost market share while direct competitors continue to fall
HelloFresh is faced with growing pains after fast expansion
Plant-based meals pose challenges, but offer substantial gains
Examining five trends shaping the cooking ingredients and meals industry
Plant-based claims continue to rise, driven by vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets
Plant-based options becoming more prevalent in ready meals, with influx of new entries
Sauce category branches out by innovating with vegan product ranges
Lower sugar content and higher nutrition in demand among health-orientated consumers
Mr Choco sweet spread addresses health concerns within an indulgent category
Premiumisation through taste, experience and convenience essential in the industry
Demand for convenience drives growth and innovation in ready meals
Gourmet and premium culinary trends redefine dining experiences at home
Innovations catering to convenience help attract busy consumers
Cooking ingredients and meals products see a rise in more focused sustainability claims
Italy’s Blueat introduces sustainably sourced sauces, helping reduce environmental impact
Offline retailing gaining back customers by catering to consumer needs
New retail solutions improve ready meal convenience and experience
Global snapshot of edible oils
Global snapshot of meals and soups
Global snapshot of sauces, dips and condiments
Global snapshot of sweet spreads
Regional snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Western Europe
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Australasia


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