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Convenience is not a dirty word....

Australian Wholefoods has featured in the latest edition of Retail World magazine providing insights for the Ready to Go category review.

Specialty trends

The gluten-free market is expanding in Australia. Looking at the top 50 claims made on-pack for snacks and prepared meals launched in the past five years, gluten free was in the top five and is also one of the fastest growing claims (Mintel 2015, supplied by Australian Wholefoods).

Australian owned and operated chilled-ready-meal manufacturer Australian Wholefoods is exploring this trend and has come up with new gluten-free lines expected to be released by the end of the year.

"Our research revealed a gap in the market for gluten-free ready meals and we feel our new lines will really offer consumers a great option and work to satisfy the growing demand which is clearly prominent," Australian Wholefoods Marketing Coordinator Kimberly James said.

"In addition to this, we're looking at opportunities for export, which would help utilise our current production capabilities."

Australian Wholefoods produces more than 100,000 chilled ready meals every week (with capacity to triple that number) under the Clever Cooks, Banquet and Alaska Foods brands.

Recently, the Clever Cooks and Banquet brands underwent extensive rebranding, including refreshed logos and new product packaging. The new look has been in the marketplace for just over three months and Ms James says there has been a strongly positive response from both customers and consumers.

"This rebranding was communicated to our major customers and field teams through a briefing document which highlighted changes to logos and packaging," she said. "We also used Facebook as a great tool to promote the new look to our consumers, and have also launched a new-look website."

Ms James anticipates strong growth for the -ready-to-go category in Australian supermarkets.

"Australia typically follows the UK market in terms of food trends," she said. "In recent years, the ready-to-go category in the UK has really expanded and continues to see steady growth each year, particularly in the single serve meal segment. This is something I think we'll see a lot more of here in Australia in coming years, with consumers becoming increasingly time poor and looking for efficient meal solutions."

Full article - Retail World Magazine, November 16, 2015, pages 47-48