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Convenience Meets Conscious Eating: The Expansion of Plant-Based Ready Meals



Plant-based ready meals are becoming a mainstay on grocery shelves, offering a fusion of convenience, health, and ethical consumption. As retail buyers, staying abreast of this trend is not just advantageous—it’s imperative for driving revenue and satisfying the evolving tastes of your customer base.

Stocking Winning Plant-Based Ready Meal Lines

When considering the introduction or expansion of plant-based ready meals in your store, focus on these critical aspects:

Ingredient Transparency: Modern consumers are more informed and curious than ever. They scrutinize labels for ingredients’ origins, hoping to avoid artificial additives and GMOs. Ensuring your products feature transparent, clean labels can significantly sway purchasing decisions.

Nutritional Content: Health is a major driver behind plant-based diets. Offering meals that are not only vegan or vegetarian but also rich in essential nutrients like proteins, fibers, and vitamins can appeal to a broader demographic. This includes those looking to improve their diet without sacrificing taste or quality.

Flavor Diversity: The culinary world is rich with plant-based options that span various cuisines. From Mediterranean chickpea salads to Asian-inspired tofu stir-fries, diversity in flavors will cater to a wider audience and prevent palate fatigue.

Successful Brands Leading the Way

Several brands have already carved out substantial niches in the plant-based ready meal sector. Stocking products from the manufacturers listed below guarantees your frozen aisle will have ready meal options for meat-loving flexitarians and whole-food-seeking vegetarians alike.

Daring Foods: Daring has made a name for themselves with a leading soy-based chicken alternative that delivers on taste, texture and recipe adaptability. The company now offers “Penne Primavera”, “Teriyaki”, “Harvest” and “Spicy Fajita” meal bowls featuring their plant chicken in a frozen, ready meal format.

Gardein: Gardein is a legacy producer of meat alternatives, and the latest iterations of both their chicken and beef-style products have reached new heights in flavor and texture. Stock their “Plant-Based Chick’n Fried Rice”, “Sweet-n-Sour”, “Meatball Marinara” and “Be’F & Broccoli” frozen dinners to provide a convenient alternative for your flexitarian customers.

Purple Carrot: Purple Carrot has been a leader within the plant-based food movement for many years, starting with meal delivery kits and now venturing into frozen, ready meals. Stock dishes like “Udon Noodle Bowl”, “Sweet & Sour Cauliflower” and “Vegetable Tikka Masala” to diversify your convenient offerings with a global twist.

Forks Over Knives: Originally known for educational documentaries on the benefits of whole-food, plant-based eating, Forks Over Knives now creates recipes that represent the clean-eating ethos from the films. For your customers looking for a true “clean label” this is a trusted brand name. Stock diverse recipes including: “Indian Potato, Chickpea & Lentil Curry”, “Tuscan Garden Penne”, “Sesame Ginger Fancy Veggies & Rice” and “Fire-Roasted Enchilada Stack”.

Recommendations for Retailers

To capitalize on this growing trend, consider the following strategies:

Curate a Diverse Selection: Stock a range of plant-based ready meals that cater to different dietary preferences and cuisines.

Educate Your Customers: Use in-store promotions and educational materials to inform shoppers about the benefits of plant-based meals.

Highlight Sustainability: Market these products not just as healthy choices but also as part of a sustainable lifestyle.

By embracing these practices, you can position your store as a forward-thinking leader in the rapidly growing market of plant-based ready meals, attracting health-conscious and environmentally aware consumers and driving increased sales and customer loyalty.