Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/09/2014 -- The main event in 2013 is the sudden impact of the horsemeat scandal on meat-based ready meals. Already disappointing in 2011 and 2012, frozen ready meals is suddenly taking a backseat in 2013 following the scandal, with sales of frozen lasagne notably impacted. Belgium seems to have been less affected by the horsemeat scandal than France or the UK; nonetheless, sales in other categories are also being 'contaminated' by the scandal, including canned/preserved ready meals and chilled ready meals. In terms of the latter, this is a surprise as it still progressed in terms of value sales in 2012 under impetus from pasta-based and Mediterranean ready meals.
Ready meals has one the most fragmented competitive environments of the packaged food market. Other than private label, none of the branded players holddouble-digit value sharesin 2013. With an 8% value share, TerBeke is the leading branded player in ready meals. It owes its leading position to the success and popularity of its Come a Casa brand, among others, which is promoted as being truly Italian. It benefits from a high level of recognition and loyalty among consumers. In addition, TerBeke has a strong business relationship with many grocery retailers - for its brands but also as a subcontractor for private label - and thus it benefits from widespread distribution coverage across Belgium.
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The outlook for sales of ready meals has suddenly become negative in 2013. The horsemeat scandal interrupted a long success story, and it will take a long time for manufacturers to regain consumers' confidence, according to the most pessimistic experts. What will further limit the recovery of chilled ready meals is the possible drop of Pasta Box and similar microwaveable boxes of pasta-based ready meals. While in France, sales of these products, which were driving chilled ready meals until the middle of 2012, suddenly collapsed at the end of the year, there are also worrying signs of their saturation in Belgium in 2013.
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The Ready Meals in Belgium market research report includes:
- Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends
- Detailed segmentation of international and local products
- Historic volumes and values, company and brand market shares
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