Supermarket prepared food industry sales were estimated to be $19.5 billion in 2012. This sector filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food been continually out-growing all other sectors of grocery-supermarket sector for many years. The reasons are obvious consumers have no time to cook, don’t want to cook and don’t want to clean up after they cook.
Whole Foods, Central Market, Metropolitan Market, Harbor Greens and Fairway are all examples of companies focused on garnering additional share of stomach while meeting or exceeding today’s consumer demand for fresh prepared food that is ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat offered as a meal component that can be bundled into a customized family meal or a meal for one.
Packaged Facts reports that the cost for a prepared meal is “not on par with fast food and family restaurant options, they beat them …making them accessible to a wide range of household incomes”. These meals that were once hidden behind an old fashion deli counter are now moving out front as stations.