Convenience meals

Demand for convenience meals is expected to reach $5.3 billion by 2030 at around 3% per annum growth.

Titled: Convenience meals

In 2018

  • Export opportunity is $1 billion
  • Domestic consumption is $2.7 billion

In 2030

  • Export opportunity is $1.6 billion
  • Domestic consumption is $3.7 billion

Convenience meals are pre-prepared, and frozen packaged meals sold by supermarkets, grocery stores and home delivery ready meal services.

Convenience meals has potential for growth in domestic and export markets depending on how consumer preferences and work-life trends change over time. Based on current spending and demographic trends, CSIRO analysis estimates total domestic consumption of prepared and frozen packaged meals to grow from $2.7 billion in 2018 to $3.7 billion by 2030, and the export opportunity to grow from $1.0 billion to $1.6 billion during the same period. Key product segments by market size today include pre-prepared salads, frozen pizza and frozen-ready meals. However, the sector’s outlook will depend on how the prices, quality, convenience and nutrition of convenience meals compare to competing alternatives such as restaurants and fast foods.

While pre-prepared and packaged meals might compete more strongly on price and convenience, growth in affordable food delivery services such as UberEats and Deliveroo might may affect consumer behaviour. In 2015-16, the Australian average household weekly expenditure on meals out and fast food ($80.4 per week) was around 15 times greater than expenditure on packaged prepared meals ($5.4 per week). More generally, lifestyle trends will affect demand for convenience meals over the longer term. While labour for participation rate of countries in the OECD have on average increased over the last few decades, average annual hours worked per worker has fallen during the same period. Such trends are likely to influence consumer eating and purchasing decisions.

See full report for methodology and references.