In this assignment on ready meals, it will outline the different effects, both positive and negative in the change of the marketing environment on the sale of ready meals, using an appropriate framework of analysis such as “PESTLE” which stands for: political, economic, social, technology, legal, and finally environment, this framework will be used the analyse the affects it can cause on the sale of ready meals. The assignment will also include factors that might affect sales of ready meals in the United Kingdom over the next five years.
Using “PESTLE” as a framework, the political factor can have both positive and negative effects on the sales of ready meals. Firstly a positive effect it can have is that if the government was to raise gas bills, it can become difficult for individuals who live on their own and to have to cook for themselves, as it can be costly, so they may turn to ready meals which is easy to prepare quickly, this saves them money as well. This is an easy option for most consumers, and in turn can benefit the sales of ready meals. However the negative effect the government can have on ready meals is by introducing cooking schools for individuals to learn how to cook. Reading the daily mail article (Mark Duell and Andrew Levy, February 2013) the government want to make GCSE food compulsory. They hope to make students from the age 14 to be able to cook up to 20 different dishes before they take their GCSE. This can have a negative impact on the sales of ready meals as more people are encouraged to start cooking for themselves the more likely they sales of ready meals are likely to drop.
Furthermore looking at the impact of the economic environment on sales of ready meals is slightly more ambiguous. As individuals have more disposable income it can lead to drops in sales for ready meals, as customers may want more expensive meals, more often. However when the economy is hit by recession for example the UK in 2008, consumers are more likely to change their diet from expensive food to ready meals, as its much cheaper and a is seen a good way of saving money. In the case study it quotes “the manufacturer Northern foods- a major supplier of ready prepared meals to Marks & Spencer – reported resilient sales”. This indicates during the recession time when people have less disposable income manufacturers of ready prepared meals saw their sales increase in that period which suggests many customers have turned to ready meals rather than eating out in restaurants or even cooking at home.
Social factors can have both positive and negative impacts on sales of ready meals. The positive impact being as people become cash-rich and time-poor they prefer to switch to ready meals and simple to prepare foodstuffs that they can quickly heat in an oven or microwave. On the other hand the social factors such as consumers wanting healthier meals as they have now become more concerned on the health implications of the food they eat, this means manufacturers will have to adapt to the changing market in order to meet customer demands. This can be difficult as well as expensive as it would require market research to be carried out in order to find out what it is