The consumption of dishes prepared in Spain grew by 2.7% last year, until standing at 14.64 kilos per person per year, according to the data published by the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Prepared Dishes (Asefapre). For the employers of the sector, this growth is driven by "the constant innovation in products and formats" and by "the great variety of proposals for all moments of consumption", which has contributed to 2018 closed with total sales of 501,533 tons, 3.8% more than the previous year.
"The consumption of prepared dishes is already a usual alternative in the diet of Spanish families because they are quality food, easy and quick to prepare, varied and nutritious that solve the food of those who have a fast pace of life, who lack culinary skills or interest in cooking, "said the president of Asefapre, Ángel Matamoro.
As for the most consumed foods, the pizza is in the first position in the refrigerated category; potato-based dishes are the most demanded in the frozen category; and pulses occupy the first place in the category of dishes prepared at room temperature.
By categories, refrigerated ready meals maintain a 47% share, followed by frozen ones (41%) and ambient ones (12%). In 2018, the highest increases were registered in refrigerated dishes (+ 5.9%), followed by dishes at room temperature (+ 4.6%) and frozen prepared dishes (+ 1.2%).
About the export of prepared dishes of the companies associated with Asefapre, continue to grow "considerably", reaching 2018 a total of 34,260 tons, 13.4% more than the previous year, an increase that in the last seven years has been at 107% .
Matamoro also recalled the recent accession of Asefapre to the collaboration plan for the improvement of the composition of food and beverages of the Spanish Agency of Consumption, Food Safety and Nutrition (Aecosan), by which Companies in the sector are committed to reducing the average salt content by 10% in products such as croquettes, empanadillas, cannelloni, lasagna, nuggets, rings or surimi derivatives, and 10% of the average content of saturated fats in nuggets.
"This commitment entails an important work of innovation in terms of reformulation and elaboration processes, as well as identification of new raw materials and ingredients", explained Matamoro.