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Ireland meal replacement market suffered from a lack of innovation and development in 2013
Meal Replacement in Ireland - a new market research report on 2014-04-10 15:36:02
Meal replacement in Ireland continues to suffer from a distinct lack of development and innovation as limited marketing activity and poor product positioning have resulted in flagging consumer interest and lacklustre growth. The limited number of meal replacement brands available in Ireland has meant that the brands which are present in the category—most notably Unilever Ireland Ltd´s Slim Fast and Nutricia Ireland Ltd´s Complan—have almost unchallenged access to this relatively lucrative category, with each of these brands essentially synonymous for their respective weight loss and convalescence claims in the collective consciousness of Irish consumers.

Unilever Ireland Ltd is expected to maintain its position as the leading player in meal replacement in Ireland in 2013 with the Slim Fast brand set to account for 64% of total meal replacement retail value sales. Despite the emergence of new brands which incorporate similar regimens in recent years, the Slim Fast brand continues to dominate due to its extensive availability through all relevant retail channels and the widespread brand awareness which has been developed among Irish consumers, which ensures that the brand continues to register a very strong performance in Ireland. That said, however, the performance of the slim Fast brand has been negatively impacted in recent years by the ongoing decline in non-essential purchases among Irish consumers as well as the recent rationalisation of numerous product lines by retailers faced with declining revenues and limited credit facilities. This has left only the most popular product variants of the Slim Fast brand, powder concentrates and ready-to-drink, currently being carried by a significant number of Irish retailers.

Meal replacement in Ireland is expected to increase in constant value at a CAGR of 1% over the forecast period. Without significant development and investment on the part of the leading players and in absence of any substantial attempts to rejuvenate the leading brands, the category is likely to continue languishing in the doldrums as one of the most underperforming categories in packaged food in Ireland. The increasing trend towards healthier lifestyles in the country is unlikely to drive the performance of meal replacement in Ireland to any great extent during the forecast period as this needs to also involve a strong desire for products which are closer to nature and can be regarded as a positive change towards a long-term lifestyle choice as opposed to being representative of the outdated ´quick fix´ ethos of the past.

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