Today's consumers are prepared to pay extra to save time. The market for ready meals is still growing strongly and is seen as having the best opportunities for food manufacturers. By 2006, its importance is expected to be even greater, offering the strongest opportunities by an even bigger margin. Desserts and sauces are also seen as offering good opportunities, both now and in five years' time.

Expected opportunities in food, relative importance by category, 2000-05 (industry survey results)

 
2001
2006
Ready meals
3.8
4.4
Desserts
3.6
3.7
Sauces
3.5
3.8
Popcorn
2.3
2.8
(Scale: 1 = unimportant, 5 = highly important)
D A T A M O N I T O R
Source: Datamonitor, 2001: "Growth Strategies in Ingredients"

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