BASINGSTOKE, UK – Ready meals and pizza are well-established meal categories in Germany, but a new category of prepared meals is on pace for faster growth than both segments, according to UK-based Canadean, a market research firm.

Meal kits are a combination of fresh, prepared and packaged ingredients packed in a kit and delivered to the consumer. The kit comes with easy to follow cooking instruction. The kits are no-fuss and negate the need for grocery shopping. Meal kits were first introduced in Sweden in 2007, according to Canadean.

Canadean reports that meal kits took the lowest share of the prepared meals category in 2012, with value and volume shares of 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent respectively. But increasing awareness of meal kits among German consumers along with greater variety of choice will lead the category to show the highest value and volume growth in prepared meals going into 2017, with compound annual growth rates in value at 2.4 percent and compound annual growth rates in volume of 2.6 percent by 2017, according to Canadean.

In the prepared foods category, ready meals accounted for the largest share of the sector in 2012, with value and volume shares of 62.4 percent and 64.2 percent, respectively. But growth of ready meals will lag slightly behind meal kits by 2017, at value and volume of 2.2 percent and 2.4 percent. Pizza, with value and volume shares of 36 percent and 34.4 percent in 2012, will show the lowest growth in the next five years with value growth of 1.5 percent and volume growth of 1.5 percent.