Many Australians are over-committed and pressed for time, and anything that can ease the pressure is welcome—including short cuts in the kitchen, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.
Roy Morgan Research said its findings showed it was no wonder more Australians reported frozen/chilled ready-made meals in an average seven days than just five years ago.
In the year to March 2010, 8.1 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and older said they had eaten a frozen/chilled ready-prepared meal in the last seven days. In the year to March 2014, this figure had risen to 9.4 per cent — an increase of about 373,000 people.
Of those who did not have time to cook, 15.7 per cent reported eating at least one frozen/chilled meal in an average seven days (up from 13.1 per cent in the year to March 2010), while 10.5 per cent of those watching their weight did the same (up from 8.8 per cent).
“Frozen/chilled ready-made meals represent a convenient short-cut for busy Australians who don’t have time to cook their own meals every night,” said Angela Smith, Group Account Director — Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research. “With supermarkets stocking a an ever-increasing range of pre-prepared options such as lasagne, risotto, gourmet soups and curries, it’s easier than ever to bypass fast food and eat healthily even when pressed for time.
Time-poor consumers and those wanting to lose weight biggest ready-meal consumers
Roy Morgan Research said this increase was especially marked among Australians who agreed with the statement, “I don’t have time to spend cooking” and among those who agree “I’m constantly watching my weight”.
“Many of these frozen/chilled meals are nutritionally balanced and low in calories, so they also make life easier for people watching their weight,” Ms Smith said.
Ms Smith said Roy Morgan Research’s in-depth segmentation tool Helix Personas allowed the market research company to identify who exactly was eating this kind of meal and why.
“For example, people in the Looking Good persona are over 50 per cent more likely than the average Australian to eat frozen/ready chilled meals during an average week,” Ms Smith said. “These people are commonly living in recently developed metro suburbs, trying to balance the needs of family with a successful career,” she said.
”Often paying big mortgages on large homes, Looking Good need to keep the weekly grocery budget in check but will gladly pay a bit extra if it saves time in the kitchen after a full day in the office,” Ms Smith said.