It would seem that consumers are prepared to pay a price premium for the convenience of prepared foods – especially potatoes and value-added vegetables. Figures announced recently by Kantar Worldpanel show that the value of these products has increased by 11% to £771.4 million and that volume is up by 13.7% to 195,000 tonnes but that average prices are down by 2.3% to £3.94 per kg. Prepared fruit figures are up by 14.2% with vegetables up 10.1% whereas fresh produce is in decline with value falling by 4.6%.
Amir Jalaly, Kantar Worldpanel’s business development director; said: “There has been big in-store growth of premium veg that you don’t even need to take out of the packet to cook. For example, microwave-in-a-bag Tenderstem broccoli, butternut squash and asparagus, all of which are flying off the shelves. Obviously we’re moving into the Christmas season and it will be interesting to see if shoppers opt for more traditional produce or go for the prepared options.”