Driven by changing lifestyles and an increased working population, the prepared meals sector in China is forecast to grow from US$6.5 billion in 2018 to US$9.1 billion by 2023.

GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company revealed in its report that ‘ready meals’ was the largest category in 2018 with the category forecast to register the fastest value growth during 2018-2023, followed by pizza.

‘Ready meals’ was the largest category in volume terms, registering volume sales of 1,625 million kg in 2018.

Sneha Singh, a Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, noted, “With increasing employment rates and urbanisation, Chinese consumers are short on time and are seeking convenient and on-the-go food options, thus opting for prepared meal products.”

Hypermarkets and supermarkets were the leading distribution channel in the Chinese prepared meals sector with a value share of 63.2% in 2018. It was followed by convenience stores, and food and drinks specialists with shares of 32.6% and 2.8%, respectively.

Singh concluded, “Large population base, rapid urbanisation and high workforce participation will further drive the prepared meals sector in China.”