Top 10 Ready Meal Companies | A Minimal Preparation

Samruddhi Yardi
Samruddhi Yardi

Updated · Apr 18, 2024


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Ready Meal Market Overview

Ready meal also called convenience meals, are pre-packaged and require minimal preparation.

They include various ingredients like proteins, carbs, veggies, and sauces, precooked or partially cooked and preserved via methods like vacuum sealing or freezing.

Their popularity arises from the demand for convenience, demographic shifts, and a focus on health.

Despite challenges like nutrition and sustainability, technological advancements have enhanced their quality, taste, and longevity, driving competition and innovation.

Overall, ready meal offers quick, easy meal options for diverse dietary needs and busy lifestyles.

Market Drivers

Several factors are propelling the global ready-meal market. Firstly, the rise in busy lifestyles is boosting demand for convenient food choices.

Demographic changes, such as more single-person households and working parents, are also driving growth.

Additionally, there’s a growing preference for healthier ready meal, leading to increased demand for natural ingredients and fewer additives.

Technological advancements in food processing and packaging are enhancing the quality and shelf life of ready meal, fueling market expansion.

Moreover, the wider availability of ready meal through diverse distribution channels like supermarkets, convenience stores, and online platforms is broadening their accessibility to consumers worldwide.

Market Size

The Global Ready Meals Market is projected to reach approximately USD 297 Billion by 2033, up from USD 147 Billion in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% from 2023 to 2032.

List of Major Companies

These are the top ten companies operating in the ready-meal market:


Company Overview

Establishment Year1866
HeadquarterVevey, Switzerland
Key ManagementPaul Bulcke (Chairman)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 103.5 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 270,000 (2022)

About Nestlé

Nestlé S.A. has strategically enhanced its ready meals sector by introducing new products and through targeted acquisitions, focusing on the growing consumer demand for convenient, healthy food options.

The acquisition of Freshly in 2020, a provider of fresh-prepared meal services in the U.S., highlights Nestlé’s push into direct-to-consumer offerings.

This aligns with their broader strategy of emphasizing health and wellness, as demonstrated by their purchase of Sweet Earth, a plant-based food company.

Additionally, Nestlé has streamlined its operations, evidenced by the sale of its U.S. confectionery business to Ferrero, to concentrate on key growth areas​​​​.

These moves demonstrate Nestlé’s commitment to adapting to market trends towards healthier and more convenient eating options​​.

Geographical Presence

Nestlé SA, headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, has a widespread global presence, reaching numerous countries across Europe, North America, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Key markets in Europe include Switzerland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain, while in North America, the United States and Canada offer significant opportunities.

In Asia, Nestlé focuses on emerging markets such as China, India, and Southeast Asia, alongside a substantial presence in Latin American countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.

Additionally, Nestlé operates in Africa and the Middle East, including South Africa, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

This strategic geographical diversification reflects Nestlé’s commitment to accessing new markets and fostering global growth.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2024, Nestlé introduced a new version of KitKat made from cocoa beans cultivated by farmer families participating in its income acceleration initiative. This special KitKat aims to connect consumers with the farmers in the program, emphasizing the sustainable sourcing of cocoa for these popular chocolate bars.
  • In September 2023, Nestlé agreed to acquire a majority stake in Grupo CRM, a top premium chocolate company in Brazil.


Company Overview

Establishment Year2015
HeadquarterChicago, Illinois, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Key ManagementMiguel Patricio (Chairman)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 26.6 B (2023)
Headcount~ 36,000 (2023)

About Kraft Heinz Company

The Kraft Heinz Company has advanced significantly in the ready meal market by prioritizing innovation and customer convenience.

They introduced the HOMEBAKE 425°/:30™ brand, transforming family dinners with a method that cooks full meals together in just 30 minutes, offering over 500 possible meal combinations.

This initiative underlines Kraft Heinz’s focus on disruptive technology and market leadership through smart product development.

As a key player in the growing frozen-cooked meals sector, Kraft Heinz continues to adapt its offerings to modern consumer needs, maintaining high standards of taste and quality in its products.

Geographical Presence

The Kraft Heinz Company has a strong global presence, operating across continents with a focus on North America, particularly the United States and Canada, where it generates a significant portion of its revenue.

Additionally, the company strategically extends its operations into Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region.

In Europe, it utilizes its well-known brands to cater to diverse consumer preferences. At the same time, in Latin America, it tailors its products to suit local tastes, building a loyal customer base.

Furthermore, in key markets like China and India in the Asia-Pacific region, The Kraft Heinz Company actively pursues growth opportunities, demonstrating its commitment to global expansion and ambition to establish a prominent position in both established and emerging markets within the food and beverage industry.

Recent Developments

  • In April 2024, KRAFT introduced a new range of creamy sauces, representing the inaugural innovation line under its revamped KRAFT Sauces brand. This rebrand consolidates all sauces, spreads, and salad dressings into a unified family for the first time.
  • In May 2023, Kraft Heinz unveiled its latest brand, HOMEBAKE 425°/:30™, offering a versatile selection of frozen entrées, sides, and vegetables.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1919
HeadquarterChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Key ManagementSean Connolly (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 12.3 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 18,600 (2023)

About Conagra Brands

Conagra Brands, a key player in North America’s food industry, recently showcased new meals, sides, and snacks at the 2024 Natural Products Expo West.

These innovations, from Conagra’s brands like Alexia, Blake’s, evol, and Gardein, align with modern culinary trends and target health-conscious consumers.

Products such as Alexia’s new vegetable sides and Blake’s extended comfort food range highlight Conagra’s focus on quality and convenience.

This strategy reflects the broader market trend towards convenient, quality meals, demonstrating Conagra’s commitment to adapting to consumer preferences and leading innovation in the ready meal sector.

Geographical Presence

Conagra Brands, a major figure in the food industry, boasts a significant global presence across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, with its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

The company extensively distributes its products throughout the United States and Canada, catering to diverse consumer demographics.

It has also expanded into Europe, engaging with consumers across multiple countries, and strategically targets markets in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan, and Australia.

This global expansion emphasizes Conagra’s commitment to market diversification and reinforces its leading position in the competitive food industry landscape.

Recent Development

  • In March 2024, Conagra presented a varied selection of new meals, vegetable sides, and snacks at the 2024 Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California.
  • In February 2024, Conagra reached a firm agreement with Convergent Finance and Samara Capital to sell its 51.8% ownership share in ATFL, a Mumbai-based food company.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1957
HeadquarterToronto, Ontario, Canada
Key ManagementJames Scott McCain (Chairman)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 10.5 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 20,000 (2023)

About McCain Foods

McCain Foods Limited has been focusing on expanding and enhancing its ready meals offerings through innovation and sustainability.

The company recently acquired Anchor Food Products, which enhances its food service appetizer options and leverages McCain’s operational capabilities and extensive market reach​​.

Additionally, McCain has launched Presia Ag Insights, a new division committed to sustainable and regenerative farming practices.

It reflects its ongoing dedication to environmental responsibility as detailed in its latest Global Sustainability Report​​.

These initiatives illustrate McCain’s strategy of combining strategic acquisitions with a strong commitment to sustainability in the ready meal sector.

Geographical Presence

McCain Foods Limited, a prominent global player in frozen foods, has a strong presence across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and beyond.

Established in Canada in 1957, the company strategically expanded operations, setting up manufacturing and distribution networks in Canada and the US.

In Europe, it’s a leading supplier of frozen potato products, with facilities strategically located across the continent.

Similarly, in the Asia-Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand, China, and India, McCain leverages production facilities, distribution channels, and partnerships to meet the growing demand for frozen convenience foods.

It also maintains a foothold in emerging markets, emphasizing continuous innovation and strategic growth.

Recent Development

  • In April 2024, McCain Foods Canada inked a three-year partnership deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • In April 2024, McCain Foods enhanced its collaboration with Strong Roots, a frozen food producer headquartered in Dublin.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1929
HeadquarterLondon, United Kingdom
Key ManagementHein Schumacher (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 64.5 B (2022)
Headcount~ 128,000  (2022)

About Unilever

Unilever has actively expanded its ready meals offerings, focusing on healthy and sustainable products. In 2023, it acquired Yasso, a North American premium frozen Greek yogurt brand, enhancing its healthy food segment.

This acquisition aligns with Unilever’s commitment to sustainability, which is evident in its various initiatives aimed at reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainable food practices.

These efforts demonstrate Unilever’s strategic growth and dedication to sustainability, strengthening its position in the competitive ready-meal market.

Geographical Presence

Unilever, a multinational consumer goods corporation, maintains a robust global presence. Originating in Europe, it operates prominently in the UK and the Netherlands, serving as key manufacturing and administrative centers.

In North America, particularly the US and Canada, Unilever has established a significant foothold, leveraging its diverse brand portfolio effectively.

Moreover, it strategically expands into emerging markets like Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Africa, with operations in countries such as India, China, Brazil, and South Africa.

Through customized products and sustainable practices, Unilever strengthens its global footprint, meeting varied consumer needs and seizing growth opportunities worldwide.

Recent Developments

  • In April 2024, Unilever introduced a revolutionary advancement in laundry care, addressing changing consumer preferences and advancements in home technology. Developed within its Dirt Is Good brand, Unilever employed cutting-edge robotics and AI to produce Wonder Wash, a detergent designed for outstanding performance, even within brief 15-minute wash cycles, catering to the needs of contemporary households.
  • In December 2023, Unilever inked a deal to purchase the high-end biotech haircare brand K18.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1935
HeadquarterLondon, England, UK
Key ManagementGeorge G. Weston (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 24.3 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 133,000 (2024)

About Associated British Foods

Associated British Foods Plc (ABF) is a diversified entity active in the food, ingredients, and retail sectors, particularly strong in the grocery division.

The company has a significant presence in the ready meals sector through its variety of grocery products, which include convenient meal solutions.

ABF has been focusing on expanding its product offerings and enhancing its market position through strategic initiatives such as product innovation and targeting health-conscious consumers.

The company’s commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing also plays a crucial role in its business strategy, aiming to reduce environmental impact while ensuring the production of nutritious and affordable food​​​​.

Geographical Presence

Associated British Foods Plc (ABF) has a diverse global presence, spanning multiple continents. It operates extensively in Europe, including its UK home market, with manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and retail outlets across several countries.

In North America, particularly the US and Canada, ABF has a significant presence in food, ingredients, and retail through its subsidiaries.

It has also expanded into Asia-Pacific markets like China, India, and Australia, as well as select countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, to leverage emerging market opportunities.

Overall, ABF strategically adapts to regional market dynamics while maintaining a competitive edge globally.

Recent Developments

  • In September 2023, ABF’s subsidiary, Primark, inaugurated a new store at Arundel Mills in Hanover, Maryland, USA.
  • In August 2023, ABF acquired National Milk Records for GBP48 million.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1906
HeadquarterChicago, Illinois, US
Key ManagementSteven Cahillane (Chairman & CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 13.1 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 23,000 (2023)

About Kellogg’s

Kellogg’s has been enhancing its presence in the ready meals sector through innovative product launches and a major restructuring.

The company recently divided into two independent entities, Kellanova and WK Kellogg Co, to better focus their efforts—Kellanova on global snacks and frozen foods and WK Kellogg Co on cereals in North America.

This allows each to specialize and innovate within their markets. Kellogg’s product development now includes healthier options like plant-based foods under its MorningStar Farms brand, catering to the growing consumer demand for sustainable and health-conscious food choices.

Geographical Presence

Kellogg Company holds a dominant position in North America, distributing its products widely throughout the United States and Canada.

Extending beyond North America, Kellogg strategically operates in key markets across Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Africa, and the Middle East.

This strategic expansion allows Kellogg to meet diverse consumer preferences and capitalize on the growing global demand for packaged foods.

With its broad reach, Kellogg is committed to offering consumers high-quality, nutritious foods that align with modern dietary trends.

Recent Developments

  • In April 2024, Kellogg’s introduced a healthier version of one of its classic cereals specifically designed for kids in New Zealand.
  • In October 2023, Kellanova completed the spinoff of its North American cereal business into WK Kellogg Co.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1953
HeadquarterSão Paulo, Brazil
Key ManagementGilberto Tomazoni (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 65.0 Billion (2021)
Headcount~ 270,000 (2021)

About JBS

JBS S.A. is set to expand its ready meals market presence by launching cultivated meat in Europe in 2024 after acquiring BioTech Foods.

This move aligns with JBS’s strategy to meet the rising demand for sustainable and ethical food options by introducing more plant-based and alternative proteins.

The company is gearing up to produce 1,000 tons of cultivated proteins annually at a new facility for use in products like hamburgers and sausages.

Additionally, JBS is prioritizing sustainability, as highlighted in its 2022 Sustainability Report, focusing on reducing environmental impacts and improving food security.

The company has also updated its brand identity to reflect its commitment to innovation and sustainability, emphasizing its dedication to ethical food production and sustainable practices.

This rebranding and strategic focus on innovation demonstrate JBS’s commitment to adapting to the changing global food industry needs.

Geographical Presence

JBS S.A., a major player in meat processing, has a strong global presence across the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Oceania.

Its operations are extensive in Brazil, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Argentina, with Brazil as its headquarters.

In Europe, JBS has a significant presence in the UK and EU, meeting diverse consumer demands. Expanding into the Asia-Pacific, particularly Australia, it leverages acquisitions and partnerships to access growing markets.

This broad reach highlights JBS’s commitment to meeting global consumer needs and seizing emerging opportunities, solidifying its position as a leading global player in the meat processing sector.

Recent Development

  • In December 2023, JBS unveiled a R$43 million investment strategy that was spread over three years to enhance transparency and traceability within Pará’s cattle supply chain.
  • In October 2023, JBS forged a deal with EZVolt, a renewable energy startup under Vibra, to supply recharging stations for its truck fleet.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1856
HeadquarterGolden Valley, Minnesota, U.S.
Key ManagementJeffrey Harmening (Chairman and CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 20.1 Billion (2023)
Headcount~ 34,000 (2023)

About General Mills

General Mills has been enhancing its position in the ready meals sector by heavily investing in digital technology to expand its market presence and improve efficiency.

These investments in e-commerce and data-driven marketing have significantly increased its U.S. retail sales from 4% before the pandemic to a strong double-digit share.

Additionally, the company has streamlined its portfolio, notably selling its Helper main meals and Suddenly Salad side dishes for $607 million, allowing it to concentrate on core brands and growth areas.

These actions demonstrate General Mills’ commitment to leveraging modern technology to meet consumer demands and boost operational and marketing performance.

Geographical Presence

General Mills, a multinational food company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, has a strong global presence across North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and emerging markets.

In North America, it’s a key player, distributing widely in the USA and Canada. In Europe, it operates in the UK, France, and Germany.

Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, is another important market. In the Asia-Pacific, including China, India, Japan, and Australia, General Mills benefits from the growing demand for packaged foods.

It also pursues growth in emerging markets like Africa and the Middle East. Through strategic expansion and localization, General Mills remains a leader in the global food industry, meeting diverse consumer preferences worldwide.

Recent Development

  • In April 2024, General Mills teamed up with TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT), a popular Gen Z band, to infuse your breakfast experience with the vibrant energy of today’s youth.
  • In July 2022, General Mills initiated a lasting collaboration with ALUS to support regenerative agriculture and aid farmers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada.


Company Overview

Establishment Year1935
HeadquarterSpringdale, Arkansas, U.S.
Key ManagementDonnie King (CEO)
Revenue (US$ Bn)$ 53.2 Billion (2022)
Headcount~ 142,000 (2022)

About Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods has been actively expanding its presence in the ready meals sector, with recent developments reflecting its commitment to innovation and market growth.

In 2023, Tyson acquired Grupo Vibra, a Brazilian poultry company, for $1.2 billion, enhancing its position in South America and strengthening its ready-to-eat product offerings.

Additionally, the company launched its Raised & Rooted™ brand, focusing on plant-based protein alternatives, aligning with the growing consumer trend towards healthier and more sustainable food options.

These strategic moves underscore Tyson Foods’ dedication to diversifying its portfolio and meeting evolving consumer preferences in the ready meals market.

Geographical Presence

Tyson Foods, based in the US, maintains a strong global presence across North America, Europe, and Asia. Through its network of production facilities, distribution centers, and offices, it efficiently serves customers in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

The company has expanded internationally, particularly in Europe and Asia, via acquisitions and partnerships.

Key markets like the UK, the Netherlands, China, and Thailand are pivotal for its global operations. This extensive reach highlights Tyson Foods’ dedication to providing quality offerings worldwide while pursuing growth and market leadership globally.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2024, Tyson Foods inaugurated a new $355 million food production facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Designed to accommodate a substantial increase in bacon production, this plant enhances Tyson’s position as a leader in the industry and aligns with the growing demand for its products.
  • In November 2023, Tyson Foods launched a new $300 million fully-cooked food production plant in Danville, Virginia, as part of its commitment to boosting long-term growth, optimizing operations, and investing in its poultry division.
Samruddhi Yardi

Samruddhi Yardi

Samruddhi Yardi has done her MBA in Marketing, and after working in sales for 2.5 years, she has shifted to the market research industry. As Samruddhi is a pharma graduate, she is working in the Healthcare domain as a Research associate. She also contributes to chemical, consumer goods, agriculture, and food & beverages.