The Spanish prepared meals sector has maintained steady growth over the last few years, thanks to a strong demand for new goods and innovative products from companies within the sector. In 2009 it will be one of the few sectors to achieve growth in nominal terms.
Although development slowed due to the fall in private consumption, the prepared meal market sustained growth in FY 2008. From 2006 to 2007, the value of sales in the market increased 8.7%; the increase from 2007 to 2008 was 5.8% with sales reaching USD 3.18 billion.
This increase is explained by the growing trend to consume products that need little or no preparation along with the exciting new product offerings in all segments. No other sector in the food industry has grown to the same extent.
The refrigerated meal segment recorded the highest growth rate (6.9%) earning about USD 1.05 billion. Refrigerated pizzas were the big highlight of this segment.
The frozen meal segment experienced 5.4% growth reaching USD 1.31 billion in 2008, while other prepared meals (primarily dehydrated and sterilized) earned USD 818.69 million, a 4.8% increase from 2007.
Constant innovations by firms launching new products and inventive solutions, partly due to the emergence of new companies from different areas of the food industry, will continue to stimulate demand for prepared and pre-cooked meals. These developments are partially counteracting the effects from losses in private consumption. Domestic consumers will be consolidated as the principal client group for the sector, given the unfavorable growth perspective presented by the hotel, restaurant and catering channels of distribution.
In 2009 the prepared meal market’s value is expected to be around USD 3.23 billion, representing an increase of 1.7% from the previous fiscal year.
By Angela Turrin