Irish-based food and agribusiness company Greencore has said it is looking to launch its range of ready-to-eat convenience foods in the US next year.

Patrick Coveney, Greencore’s chief financial officer, suggested in an interview with Reuters that the relatively undeveloped chilled food sector in the US offered a significant opportunity.

“If you go into a North American supermarket the food offering there, particularly the chilled food offering, is much less developed than it is in the UK,” he said. “’It’s like going back in time when you see it and there is a huge agenda among the North American retailers to change that.”

Coveney said the company would be clarifying its plans for the US in the coming 12 months, with the move into the US possibly involving acquisitions or joint ventures.

‘We’re somewhat timebound in the search and investment process,” Coveney said. “I would expect that within 12 months we would have much more clarity on what our US plans are going to be.”