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Personalised ready meals: Customisation and convenience on same plate
Wednesday, 16 September, 2020, 16 : 00 PM [IST]
Laltu Sinha
Personalised ready meals are making a healthy share in the food industry. The market is witnessing an increasing demand for personalised, convenient and healthy food and beverage products.

The food industry is being transformed by the fusion of food coupled with technological advancements. Vegan frozen meals is estimated to expand at ~20% growth rate considering 2019 as the base year; which shows the growth in interest of customers towards niche segment of the market. Intent towards personalised ready meals offerings appeal to a variety of clean and diet label attributes from non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) and certified organic to gluten-free, keto, Whole30, plant-based, paleo and many more.

As per the detailed study, in the year 2019:
•    77% of US adults used dietary supplements
•    US supplement sales are anticipated to reach $49.3 billion
•    Sales of plant-based foods recorded $4.5 billion
•    Refrigerated and frozen plant-based meat alternatives are the fastest-growing specialty food item segment in the US
•    Cannabis edibles retail sales is anticipated to reach $4.9 billion in 2024 from ~$1.2 billion in 2019.

There are numerous reasons for consumers to seek out alternative diet plans and particular product attributes including handling allergies, satisfying the desire, religious beliefs, prioritising humanitarian and increasing awareness towards healthy lifestyle—With 109 million Americans aged 50-65 years and 48 million aged 65+ reported lifestyle conditions of ageing—among others. In the United States, sales of frozen entrées have witnessed a growth of ~6% in one year considering 2019 as a base year.

‘Build-Your-Own’ concept is Flagging up the Food Industry
Millennial generation is the best part of this changing trend, as the segment is ready to experiment with variety of flavours, crust, toppings, sauces, ingredients and more with various benefits such as Freshness; Presentation; Transparency; and Diet-friendly.

Food customisation is a silver lining for restaurants to cater demand and preferences for customers. As per a research study, ~45% of foodservice and restaurants chains understand the boosting demand of food customisation, with ~70% of customer’s preference for food customisation.

Concept of Customisable Meals: Revenue model of Weight Loss Companies
With an increasing demand towards mental health and healthy living by a large section of population, weight loss companies are making huge profits in the billion-dollar industry. Jenny Craig, Medifast, WW (formerly Weight Watchers) ana NutriSystem posted sales of $3.2 billion in 2019 with more than 90% share of the global weight loss industry.  
These companies are offering personalised meal plans based DNA testing, body type and taste preferences. According to the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, DNA-based personalised nutrition kits are witnessing a substantial demand despite an accuracy of only 40%.

(The author is research director, BlueWeave Consulting. He can be contacted at
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