READY TO COOK (RTC), READY TO HEAT (RTH) and READY TO EAT (RTE) are convenience food categories with different degrees of readiness to eat - ready to cook (RTC), ready to heat (RTH), ready to eat (RTE). The main advantage of this type of food for the consumer is the ease of preparation of attractive dishes and a significant reduction in meal preparation time. However, in order to encourage consumers to purchase these types of products, they need to be undoubtedly fresh and of good quality, have an attractive appearance, taste good and be safe to eat. Indeed, market success depends on consumer appreciation of the sensory qualities and usefulness of the product, as well as on adequate information about it and consumer confidence in such foods.
Current forecasts and trends
The latest forecasts and market research show that it is the ready-to-eat food market that is supposed to grow by almost $71.7 billion between 2022 and 2026! Interestingly, Europeans are the largest consumer of ready meals, with more than 34% of the sales market. The growth of this market is not only fuelled by our busy lifestyles, but also by current food trends. The topic of food trends in 2021 - 2023 was taken up by the organisers of the International Food Fair SIAL Paris 2022.
Among the ten trends they listed, there were minimalism and clean labelling, i.e. the shortest and natural composition possible, as a leading value for the consumer.
The trend towards environmental guarantees continues - what matters to the consumer is what the packaging is made of and whether it is recyclable. Buying properly portioned meals promotes the hugely important trend of LESS or NO WASTE - cooking without wasting food. Buying on an ongoing basis and consuming as and when required prevents us from building up a stockpile of food in the fridge, often with a short-term expiry date, while also having a positive impact on our budget.
The PROMAR company has a rich and comprehensive offer of flavour and functional additives for READY TO COOK, READY TO HEAT and READY TO EAT meat dishes:
- Complete functional blends that not only lower the production costs but above all influence product quality by improving juiciness and texture, also in a clean label version.
- Wide range of liquid and powdered marinades in a variety of flavours - from traditional Polish through Greek, Italian or French flavours to exotic Asian and American tastes - also in clean label version.
- Sauces for meat production in sous vide technology - these are powdered flavour blends that allow products to be obtained in attractive flavour and visually thickened sauces.
- Liquid glazes for meat intended for roasting to be used in the last phase of roasting, adding flavour and an attractive appearance to the surface of the roasted meat.
- Products without preservatives, artificial colourings, synthetic flavourings, allergens and monosodium glutamate.
In conclusion, the aforementioned advantages look towards our daily, busy lives, in which we are still looking for valuable meals with remarkable taste qualities that do not take hours to prepare. Supporters of RTC, RTH, RTE are already convinced - it was a tasty decision!
PROMAR Team of Experts.