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The Evolving Landscape of Pre-made Meals: Market Trends and the Role of Packaging Machinery

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-07-10      Origin: Site


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Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market environment has undergone significant changes, leading to new shifts in consumer habits and behaviors due to the normalization of epidemic prevention and control measures. People are increasingly embracing convenient shopping methods and diverse product offerings. The rise of live streaming and short videos has facilitated the efficient and accurate delivery of pre-made meals.

According to data analysis, the sales of pre-made meals have experienced rapid growth. During the 2020 Chinese New Year period, Tmall witnessed a 1683% year-on-year increase in the sales of pre-made meals. In 2021, reported quarterly sales of pre-made meals exceeding 900 million RMB, with annual sales surpassing 3 billion RMB, accounting for 14.9% of the total GMV. Among the consumers purchasing pre-made meals, over 70% are aged below 35, and 54% of the post-1995 generation frequently buy ingredients for home cooking, with pre-made meals being one of their favorite products. The purchasing ratio of pre-made meals among them is twice that of the post-1965 generation. Additionally, the growing population of adults living alone has further expanded the market capacity for pre-made meals.

At the core of the pre-made industry is the central kitchen, which utilizes refrigerated trucks for food distribution, while all direct stores implement unified procurement and delivery. Central kitchens employ modern operational models to achieve standardized, scalable, intensive, and digitized food production processes.

Recently, the Chinese 3rd Food Exhibition (Shanghai), a three-day professional exhibition dedicated to pre-made meals, took place at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai). More than 2,000 exhibitors from across the country showcased over 80,000 pre-made meal products. The exhibition covered eight major areas, including pre-made meals, central kitchens and food equipment, meat and seasoning products, aquatic products and seasoning products, frozen products, hot pot ingredients, condiments, and fresh fruits and vegetables. For the first time, there was also an exhibition dedicated to pre-made meal processing and packaging equipment, which attracted enthusiastic attention and participation from the audience.

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To further enhance market reputation, pre-made meal companies not only require R&D personnel on the production side to improve product quality but also need highly skilled culinary talents on the market side. In the era of pre-made meals, chefs need to possess two additional skills compared to traditional chefs: restoration skills and creative skills. This means that in the era of pre-made meals, chefs need to be able to restore the taste and presentation of dishes and be innovative in their culinary creations.

While the initial stages of central kitchen production heavily rely on manual labor, the packaging process is highly mechanized, which is crucial for improving production efficiency and cost savings. Therefore, for companies in the pre-made meal industry, a packaging machine with high efficiency, stability, and low defect rates is indispensable. According to the packaging requirements of pre-made meals, ZOMUKIKAI provides customers with equipment such as Pre-made Bag Packaging Machines and Filling And Sealing Machines, meeting the demand for convenient one-time packaging of pre-made meals in bags or bowls. The components of the machines that come into contact with food or packaging bags are made of 304 stainless steel or other materials that meet food hygiene requirements, ensuring the hygiene and safety of food production. The machines are equipped with Siemens PLC and POD electrical control systems, controlled via a user-friendly touchscreen interface, making operation simple and efficient.

With "post-90s" and "post-2000s" becoming the mainstream consumer groups, it is predicted that the pre-made meal sector will continue to thrive. Pre-made meals undoubtedly represent a "large market" and are considered the "next big thing" in the FMCG category. Consumer concerns about food safety, improvements in cold chain networks, and advancements in food research and development inevitably demand that companies choose more stable, efficient, and secure packaging machinery to adapt to the consumption habits and market trends of modern young consumers.

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