Increasing the vegetable content of ready meals

Published: 14/03/2024

Aims and objectives

Nomad Foods, Europe’s largest frozen food company, initiated a project aimed to provide Dutch consumers with a wider assortment of delicious frozen pan-cooked meals, offering choice and variety without meat ingredients.

Each recipe is packed with at least 250g of vegetables and full of flavour, with the recommended daily intake of vegetables, ready within 10 minutes.

Ingredients and processing

Different vegetable combinations were tested to meet consumer needs and expectations for a recognisable dish that they would want to buy.

The company aimed to include a diversity of vegetables to achieve a colourful meal and also to provide a nutritious product with a variety of micronutrients.

Special attention was given to ensuring enough protein was available in the recipes with recipes comprised of more than 50% vegetable content.

Development and testing

Concept and recipe tests were well received. The company set limits for the content of salt, added sugar, and saturated fat per portion while developing the sauces. Multiple iterations of the recipes were done to deliver a range of meals while meeting a high vegetable content and nutrient profile requirements.

Results and outcomes

The ready meal products in the project were a success in The Netherlands and even received a nomination to the Healthy Innovation Awards in 2023. This is an award to celebrate and compliment food manufacturers that make healthy eating easier for Dutch consumers.

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