Ready-To-Eat Food: Millennials’ new favourite
Convenience food is a concept that has been prevalent and popular in the western countries for a long time now. Globally, the demand for ready-to-eat (RTE) food products has been increasing over the last few years on account of busier lifestyle of consumers and their rising income levels. Similar factors are fuelling the growth in the packaged food sector in India.
Increased employment opportunities have increased migration of people from tier 1 and tier 2 cities to metropolitans, which is an important driver for RTE food products in the country. Nuclear families and bachelors residing in metros for study or employment purpose are among the major consumers of RTE food products in India. The number of working women is particularly on the rise, which is again driving the demand. All these factors are creating significant awareness about ready meals among consumers. Growth in retail chains and outlets is also adding to the product awareness among consumers in the country’s, supermarkets, convenience stores and hypermarkets, which are emerging as the key points-of-sale for offering a wide range RTE food products.
The Indian cooking styles have undergone considerable changes over the past few years owing to the advent of modern technology and several other changes such as urbanization, increasing working population, increase in female work population and the rise of nuclear families. People have been increasingly shifting to ready-to-eat food items in order to save the time involved in preparing meals.
With the growing media awareness, literacy rates and standard of living, people have grown more responsive towards the health and hygiene standards associated with food products. There has been a shift witnessed in the customers focus from price to quality in the recent years, particularly in the urban and a few semi-urban areas. Consumers have been drifting from openly or loosely sold food products to the consumption of hygienically packaged fortified RTE foods.