Birds Eye expects single-serve frozen vegetarian meals to soon be worth as much as £25m – as the brand prepares to launch its new Veggie Bowls for one person.
The lineup features vegetarian and vegan variants with international flavours. Asian Sweet & Sour Noodles, Moroccan Tagine, Super Green Italian Risotto and Thai Curry (rsp: £2.89/380g) are low in saturated fat. They contain up to 19g of plant protein per serving (5g per 100g) and two of the 5 a day. They are ready to eat within seven minutes.
Shoppers were increasingly looking for plant-based meals “for ways to reduce the amount of meat in their diet due to health concerns” said Alessandro Solazzi, marketing manager at Birds Eye. Frozen veggie meals for one “could be worth up to £25m in the next two years” as long as supermarkets created “the right space and feature in store” he added.
Offers such as Veggie Bowl were “a really convenient way to help consumers increase their daily intake of vegetables, especially when they feel they lack the time to prepare a healthy and balanced meal” Solazzi said. “The added benefit of course is their frozen nature, which means freshness and nutritional benefits are locked in.”
The frozen ready meal category has enjoyed a resurgence of late: take-home value sales are up 8% to £511.4m [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 28 January 2018] on the back of healthier and premium lines. However, there are still relatively few vegetarian and vegan options in the mults. Tesco and Sainsbury’s offered little more than a dozen between them online at the time of writing.
Last month, a survey by PR agency Ingredient Communications found that almost half of vegans and a quarter of vegetarians were dissatisfied with the choice of food and drink products available to them.