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    Ready Meal Industry

    In Australia, the ready meal industry has gone from strength to strength. What started out as pre-packaged meals in the grocery freezer section has now grown into a booming industry that caters to a wide range of diets and lifestyles.  

    At FPE, we’re here to supply you with the food processing equipment you need to optimise your ready meal business and meet increased customer demand. Read on to see how we can help. 

    Overview:

    Ready meal industry boom

    Quick, convenient and easy, it’s no wonder the ready meal industry has seen significant growth in recent years. According to GlobalData, the Australian market is expected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2024. In Australia alone, there are currently over 30 ready made or cook-your-meal delivery services. 
    Pre-COVID, ready meals and meal kits were already gaining traction due to urbanisation, an increase in employment and busier lifestyles. The pandemic has only continued to fuel this demand. Dinner box services, like Hello Fresh, reported a 103% (YoY) growth in order numbers, while Marley Spoon recorded a revenue increase of 82% compared to the previous period.

    To keep up with this demand, ready meal suppliers need technology and industrial cooking equipment they can trust. With decades of food processing knowledge, FPE is here to supply that.

    ready meal industry growth

    Source: GlobalData & JLL Research

    Diet specific ready made meals

    Today, whether you’re on a plant based diet, you’re looking to go low-carb or you want a meal that has all the right macro and micro nutrients, you’re sure to find it. As the ready meal industry has grown, so has its offering. This means you can find ready-to-eat meals for: 

    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (and snacks)
    • Muscle building or ‘shredding’
    • Weight loss
    • Keto diets
    • Gluten free diets
    • Vegan or vegetarian diets

    Learn more: plant based industry

    Dinner boxes

    As the ready meal industry has grown, so too has its sister industry – meal kits. Meal kits (or dinner boxes) contain fresh, pre-portioned ingredients paired with recipe instructions. They enable consumers to cook a home-cooked meal, without all the fuss of weekly grocery shopping or searching for recipes online. 

    How is the food processing industry adapting to healthy ready meal demand?

    What better way to demonstrate how the food processing industry is adapting, than by speaking to JL King, an Australian supplier of high-quality, locally sourced produce, and ready made meals:

    “Health consciousness is a growing trend among Aussie consumers with a focus on better tasting and premium ingredients, as well as dietary preferences such as gluten-free, vegan and non-dairy. JL King & Co’s NPD strategy is designed to meet the growing demands of consumers, ensuring we have a strong product offering across all sub-categories of prepared meals. 

    With our new factory due to be commissioned in 2022, we will have new preparation and packaging capability. The products we have specified from FPE will ensure we can deliver on the freshness and taste credentials that consumers expect, delivering high quality meals across our range.”

    Michael Robertson

    Director

    JL King & Co

    Processing equipment for ready meal suppliers

    FPE supplies best-in-class solutions for pre-made meal producers in Australia and New Zealand – from industrial sous vide for cooking meat and sealing in the moisture to bratt pans for creating delicious casserole dishes.

    PROCESSING ACTIVITY MANUFACTURER USAGE EXAMPLES
    Tempering/thawing AMTek Microwave
  • Thawing frozen product ready for further processing or cooking
  • Hard and soft separation Sepamatic
  • Separating the stones from avocado flesh
  • Slicing  Magurit
    Grasselli
  • Slicing or dicing frozen and thawed plant based protein or meat
  • Packaging DC Norris
  • Large-scale packaging of ready meals or individual products such as sauces, pasta & rice, fruit, fish etc
  • Cooking & cooling BCH Ltd and DC Norris
  • Large-scale and rapid sealing or searing of vegetables
  • Seamless cooling of large batches of cooked food 
  • Fat reduction in product being cooked by using MADS on the DCN kettle
  • Batching of food products into pouches
  • HACCP compliance and food quality assurance Eagle PI
  • Chemical lean calculation in meat
  • Contaminant detection in unprocessed and finished product
  • Production hygiene Elpress
  • Hand and boot sanitisation for workers
  • Pallet and crate washing
  • Material handling SYSPAL
  • Sanitising conveyors to sanitise packaged product between processing areas
  • Operator-safe machines for mixing, tipping, washing, weighing and stacking Euro bins of product
  • So if you’re a ready meal company in Australia, trust FPE. For all your industrial cooking kettles, food packaging machines, equipment maintenance and more, we’re the leading provider in Australia and New Zealand. Contact us today on 1800 882 549 in Australia and 0800 100 003 in New Zealand to discuss your business needs. 

    New Zealand & Australian ready meal industry FAQs

    Who is the target market for ready meals?

    With more and more ready meal companies jumping on the scene, the target market is ever growing. But there are a few key groups:

    • Gym enthusiasts and those looking to eat healthily 
    • Young people
    • People too busy to cook
    • Single professionals
    • Single, elderly pensioners

    How much is the ready meal market worth?

    As of 2021, the current ready meal market size (in Australia) is $1 billion. Source: IbisWorld

    Why are ready meals popular?

    Ready made meals are incredibly quick and easy, and they suit a wide variety of lifestyles and diets. Beyond that, they’re also popular because:

    • You don’t have to stress over grocery shopping or looking up recipes
    • They can help you meet your specific macro and micronutrients 
    • There’s a wide variety of food choices
    • They can be frozen
    • They reduce food waste