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18
April
2013

All Change at Waitrose Ready Meals

Coated aluminium trays make an impact.

All Change at Waitrose Ready Meals

A few years ago ready meals were all PET trays with the occasional board based alternative.  Have you noticed how this is all changing at the premium end –and bit below- in UK supermarkets?  There has been a steady move to aluminium trays over several years now; it adds some authenticity to the ‘cooking experience’ for people like me who tend to rely on this meal format too much.  Importantly it is the convenience in that move of using an oven, rather than the microwave, in getting to a good natural result, the food is there, hot, crispy, colourful even, in its own ridged tray sans plastics, akin to a durable kitchen tray without the washing up.

trays2The aluminium tray use to be in its bright metallic state but not any more in Waitrose.  Now they have revamped there ready meals offering, traded up I judge and in that move have coated the aluminium trays with a cream lacquer both inside and out –suddenly natural aluminium looks utility!  I can show you some comparisons here, on-the-shelf, both with uncoated aluminium and black PET.  It is all very striking contrasting with the black sleeve and utilising some shaping now and again.

It’s too early to say if it will stay the course and price points are different too (launch discounts in place) but it is making a decisive impact on-the-shelf for that first moment of truth.  I do wonder though what consumers think about having their food in contact with this lacquer and if this raises concerns with them.     ….and I do wash up, courtesy of my dishwasher, all the aluminium trays I use and carefully recycle them every fortnight…

  • Tags: Aluminum trays, Andrew Streeter, Ready meals, Waitrose

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