Frozen Meals

Portrait of the frozen meals available in Quebec (2018)

386 frozen meals were listed for this study

40 %

of frozen meals contain more than the 30% daily value threshold for sodium

22 %

of frozen meals contain more than the 30% daily value threshold for saturated fats

Highlights

This sectoral study on frozen meals shows a high degree of variability in the nutritional composition according to content, source of protein or source of starch, type of sauce, target consumers and specific characteristics. These analyses make it possible to identify which products should be monitored in the coming years, but also where improvement should be considered. In this regard, the majority of frozen meals offered in Quebec do not provide enough energy or nutrients to be considered as a complete meal. Choosing a meal with three food groups (vegetables, source of starch and protein) is therefore essential. In several cases, the meal should even be served with a side dish containing vegetables and a source of protein. In addition, starch-only meals and those with cream or cheese sauce should be modified to include less fat and, more specifically, saturated fat. Meals intended for a health-conscious or diet-conscious population are more interesting, from the nutritional composition point of view. These elements could easily be communicated to consumers to guide them towards healthier choices. It should also be noted that closer monitoring of healthy/diet meals seems to be appropriate, since there are no nutritional regulations in this regard.

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Full report

The Observatory mission is to observe and monitor the evolution of the food supply in order to generate new knowledge and to act collectively at improving its quality and accessibility. The studies carried out by the Observatoire aim at analyzing food categories and monitoring their evolution over time. The food categories to be studied are selected based on a rigorous approach. Indeed, after consultation with the Observatoire’s knowledge users, the Scientific Committee prioritized the food categories to be addressed according to four main criteria: health impact, nutritional quality variability, household penetration rate and product improvement potential. As a result of this consultation, the frozen meals category was selected and analyzed. This report presents the results of this food category’s analysis.

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Method

The data used for this portrait was collected in collaboration with:

Nutritional composition:

Consumer purchases:

The steps to create this portrait are:

Food Quality Observatory

Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF) | Université Laval
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observatoire@inaf.ulaval.ca

© Food Quality Observatory - INAF, Université Laval, 2019