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Pre-cooked plant-based frozen meals are being lauded as a growing market across the world. The claim has been made following the release of the Lausanne Index Prize winners. More meat-free options than ever before featured prominently, demonstrating a consumer shift.
Mainstream food manufacturers are embracing more sustainable ingredients. Offering products for people looking to eat clean or healthily has led to an uptick in plant-based creations. The Lausanne Index Prize claims that frozen foods are no longer considered unhealthy, now that plant-based options are available.
Popularity of pre-prepared food
The frozen food market is expected to grow by $94.99 billion from 2021 to 2025. The prediction was revealed in a report from Technavio. Though the CAGR looks set to decrease, growth will still be registered thanks to a rising star within the sector. Ready meals, specifically vegan ready meals, are going to continue to drive sector expansion. The report demonstrates that 46 percent of the growth will come from North America and concludes that demand for frozen vegan food will contribute significantly to the sector’s viability.
The increase in popularity of prepared foods is a natural offshoot of plant-based eating gaining traction. Easily stored, long life products represent simple meals for people with busy lives. Though it is undeniable that a wholefoods diet, with no processed foods, is best for bodily health, it rarely aligns with people’s timescales. As a result, frozen items such as sausages, burgers and complete meals allow for hassle-free plant-based living. They can help prevent food waste as well, thanks to only being cooked when needed.
Large companies seeking to claim vegan consumers as customers are turning to the frozen foods aisle in a bid to tempt them. Multiple ice cream brands now include vegan lines, including Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s. Goodfellas and Chicago Town have been responsive to calls for plant-based pizza and multiple frozen fast-food alternatives have hit the freezer aisles.
Consumers appear to be making the connection between convenience and conscious eating, with the two increasingly able to co-exist. Green Queen already predicted an increase in better convenience meals for the vegan market in 2022.
Veganism made easy
It’s not just the frozen foods in supermarkets that are seeing an increase in vegan interest. Frozen meal deliveries are seeing a surge and looking to fundraise to expand as demand grows.
Last October, London’s Planty completed a successful €770k raise. The D2C p100 percent plant-based startup earmarked the funds for expansion into Europe, specifically Scandinavia as the first port of call. Development of new product lines was also cited, with interest in breakfast meals, snacks, and desserts. The company specialises in healthy, sustainable meals that align with consumer ethics and busy schedules.
Vegan meal deliveries have increased across the board, not just within the frozen sphere. Last year San Francisco startup Thistle celebrated a $10.3 million payday after closing a Series B Fundraising round. The company claimed to be a healthy and tech-focused solution to stay-at-home working. Funding was allocated to the development of a virtual consultation service with an in-house nutritionist. This, according to Thistle, would allow for personalised meal choices optimised according to goals.
Last week, Scratch Kitchen revealed that it is looking to bridge the gap between healthy and sustainable food that is convenient to boot. Based in Colorado, the company is making moves to become carbon neutral, while supplying plant-based nutrition to people via delivery or takeaway options.
Lead image courtesy of Planty.