Technical

Explore Functional Ingredients in the Evolution of Ready-to-Eat and Ready-to-Cook Foods

In this fast-paced world, the approach to mealtime has undergone a significant transformation. The surge in ready-to-eat (RTE) and ready-to-cook (RTC) foods has revolutionized the culinary scene1. Generally, RTE foods are referring as group of food products that are fully prepared and required no cooking or minimal heating before consumption2, whereas RTC foods are partially prepared meals that require minimal effort or time to be cooked and served2. These food products can be easily found in supermarkets and convenience stores in most countries.

There are several driving factors behind the success of RTE and RTC in the food market. Mainly, their convenience, time-saving properties, and, in some cases, cost-effectiveness contribute significantly to their popularity3. They cater to a diverse consumer base, ranging from busy white-collar and students to individuals seeking quick yet satisfying meals without sacrificing taste or quality. Additionally, the rising popularity of international cuisine has also aided the growth of this food sector3. Modern consumers are more adventurous with their food choices, readily exploring new and exotic flavours, contributing significantly to the evolving culinary landscape.

Market Trend of RTE and RTC Foods

Due to the hectic lifestyle and hectic work schedules of office workers, the market is witnessing a shift in consumer preference from home-cooked food to ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook products. Some institutions predict that the revenue generated by RTE industry will soar to USD 383.93 billion in 2023, marking a CAGR of 4.94% from 2023 to 20284. On the other hand, for RTC industry, the market size was valued at USD 8.34 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 14.24 billion by 2030, experiencing a CAGR of 6.92% from 2023 to 20305.

Challenges Faced by RTE and RTC Food Industries

As is often the case with two sides of a coin, these food products, come with both advantages and disadvantages. While they offer convenience, many of them are highly processed and may contain excessive levels of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats6. Additionally, certain RTE and RTC meals lack essential nutrients, such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals, resulting in the provision of empty calories devoid of the necessary nutritional benefits crucial for sustaining good health.

Apart from that, as consumers becoming more health-conscious, there’s a growing demand for RTE and RTC meals that are both convenient and nutritious. Consumers seek options low in fat, sugar, and sodium, yet rich in essential nutrients. As a response to this trend, manufacturers are incorporating healthier ingredients, reducing additives, and introducing organic or natural alternatives7. Consequently, a wide array of ready-to-eat products has emerged, including gluten-free, vegan, and low-carb options3.

 

Solutions to Solve This Issue

To sooth concerns regarding excessive oil and fat consumption in ready-made food products, let’s bring in Beneo’s Orafti GR (Inulin), a dietary fibre rich in prebiotic properties, providing a promising solution to address health issues associated with fats and oils. Research suggests that inulin has the capability to hinder the absorption of dietary fats in the gut, potentially reducing the body’s overall fat intake and storage. Moreover, it contributes to improving digestive health and aiding in weight management.

 Furthermore, to bolster the nutritional content of these food items, Hexagon Nutrition, a differentiated and research-orientated pure nutrition manufacturer has offered a wide range of micronutrients products to address this issue. One of their products, Vitamins and Minerals Premixes stand out, capable of being seamlessly integrated into meat products, elevating their overall nutritional profile significantly.

On the other hand, BENEO’s rice ingredient is used in the RTE and RTC industry, including products like pizza and cookie dough, owing to its neutral flavour and positive impact on texture. The company has introduced a rice flour named Remyflo R7 90 T CP in response to the increasing demand for gluten-free foods. This product facilitates developers in crafting superior formulas with a naturally gluten-free taste using fewer ingredients. Besides, BENEO also suggested that combining the dough with their brown rice flour, Remyflo C 200, enhances the nutritional profile and positively influences colour development.

DPO International, a full-suite market enabler, collaborates with the world’s premier specialised food ingredient producers BENEO and Hexagon Nutrition. Equipped to help you transform these trends into innovative brand concepts, we are with you from ideation to the manufacturing stage, providing solutions and support throughout each phase.

References:

  1. Ready to eat food market – industry & statistics. Ready to Eat Food Market – Industry & Statistics. (n.d.). https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/ready-to-eat-food-market
  2. Ready to eat food advantages and disadvantages!. Kitchen Indoor. (n.d.). https://kitchenindoor.com/ready-to-eat-food-advantages-and-disadvantages/
  3. The ready-to-eat food manufacturing industry: Trends, challenges, and opportunities. Ready-to-Eat Food Manufacturing Industry: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities | How to Start Business | Investment and Future Scope. (n.d.). https://www.eiriindia.org/blog/the-ready-to-eat-food-manufacturing-industry-trends-challenges-and-opportunities
  4. Lab, F. R. (2022, August 6). RTE and RTC Food Products. Guires Food Research Lab. https://www.foodresearchlab.com/insights/what-science-can-do/rte-and-rtc-food-products/
  5. Contrive Datum Insights Pvt Ltd. (2023, April 26). Update:the ready-to-cook food market are projected to reach USD 14.24 billion by 2030, from USD 8.34 billion in 2022,registering a CAGR of 6.92% during the forecast period 2023-2030: Data by Contrive Datum Insights Pvt Ltd.. GlobeNewswire News Room. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2023/04/26/2654821/0/en/UPDATE-The-Ready-to-Cook-Food-Market-are-Projected-To-Reach-USD-14-24-Billion-By-2030-From-USD-8-34-Billion-in-2022-Registering-a-CAGR-Of-6-92-During-The-Forecast-Period-2023-2030-.html#:~:text=Farmington%2C%20April%2026%2C%202023%20(,6.92%25%20from%202023%20to%202030.
  6. Bhalerao, S. (2023, May 22). Ready-to-eat trend – revolutionizing the food industry: How changing consumer patterns are fueling Prittle Prattle News. Prittle Prattle News. https://www.prittleprattlenews.com/food/ready-to-eat-trend-revolutionizing-the-food-industry-how-changing-consumer-patterns-are-fueling/
  7. Research, C. (2023, September 28). Ready-to-eat food market: Challenges, opportunities, and growth drivers and major market players forecasted for period from 2023 – 2030. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ready-to-eat-food-market-challenges-opportunities-growth
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