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Ready Meal Companies See Opportunity in Brazil

Posted on the 20 September 2019 by Angelicolaw @AngelicoLaw
Ready Meal Companies See Opportunity in Brazil

In Brazil, where workers usually get a 1-2 hour lunch break, and culture is built around family meals, the ready meal category has gone largely under the radar. In fact, Brazil had just 2 percent growth in prepared food product launches between 2015-2019, as compared to 20 percent in South Korea and 17 percent in the US.

In addition to the cultural factor, pricing prevents Brazilians from consuming ready meals. At least in Brazil, buying ready meals is generally more costly than buying all of the ingredients fresh. Also, prepared foods are known for having a lot of preservatives and few fresh ingredients.

While ready meals may not be more economical, they are certainly less time consuming and far more convenient than cooking yourself. For the busy consumer, these factors may well outweigh concerns with pricing. "A lot of women are working outside of the home, so they don't have time to cook at home," said Ana Paula Gilsogamo, a food and drink analyst for Mintel. Though consumers may resist paying the price of prepared meals, the convenience and time saved still make them worthwhile alternatives.

Brazil's updated dietary guidelines encourage people to learn cooking skills and share meals with others. Meal kits, as opposed to already prepared frozen foods, offer an opportunity for people to buy all of the ingredients needed for a meal in one bundle, making the shopping and preparation process faster and more convenient while still including the cooking aspect in meal preparation.

Although the ready meal market is still largely untested, data suggests that there are opportunities for both exotic flavors and regional dishes. The range goes around the globe with foodies preferring international cuisine and millennials preferring more traditional meals. Stews and rice-based dishes, as well as healthy native ingredients like acaí and tapioca, are just a few options yet to be explored. No doubt the Brazilian market will begin to see these options soon.

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