Page 15 - Food&Drink Business Magazine July-August 2020
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across the board in its private label meals, she says.
Apart from B&J City Kitchen and its private label businesses, other Beak & Johnston brands are Pitango, Beak & Sons, Simmone Logue Fine Food and Strength Meals Co.
One change McDonald had witnessed was growing consumer awareness about what they are putting in their bodies. “They are becoming ever more aware of ingredients and not wanting any nasties in their food. That growing awareness has to be catered for. In the past, that would have involved us focusing heavily on calorie and what we could take out. Today it is about what we are putting into the meals,” McDonald says.
2019 was also a big year for the company. It launched Strength Meals Co with Woolworths,
a high protein ready meal
range as well as rebranding its sausage and burger brand Beak & Sons and its soups and meal brand Pitango.
Improvements in production have also driven changes in the sector. Greater automation and improved technologies are enabling producers to shake off negative perceptions about ready meals being high in salt, sugar and additives while being low on nutrients and flavour.
A 2018 Innova Market Insights report found a 30 per cent increase in ready meals claiming high and/or the source of protein claims.
More engaged and discerning consumers also offer opportunities for market growth and diversity, enabling producers to segment the market and build brand loyalty. The wellness trend combined with personalised nutrition and customisable choices are set to become the norm.
And well-established brands are not standing idly by. McCain, which claims almost a third of the Australian market, recently underwent a
brand refresh for its Healthy Choice range, while in the US, Nestlé announced it was refreshing more than half its Lean Cuisine range.
Nestlé also launched a new frozen line called Life Cuisine. The company said it would cater to four consumer preferences, shifting away from calorie-counting to a more holistic attitude: a low-carb
lifestyle, high protein, meatless and gluten-free. The the meals include layered bowls, cauliflower-crust pizzas and sous vide egg bites, are made with protein, vegetables and whole grains.
As personalised nutrition with customisable choices like high fibre, protein, and low sugar become standard, the scope is endlessforreadymeals. ✷
    [ kam-pi-lō-ˈbak-tər ]
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