The market for convenience food is being fuelled by an increasing demand for healthy ready meals, according to Mintel.

Britons spent a record £2bn last year on ready meals, with sales boosted by more healthier ranges, said the market analyst.

Sales of ready meals in Europe's five largest countries - Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain - increased by 5% between 2006 and 2007 to reach £5.7bn, according to Mintel.