Swanson TV DinnerReady meals have come a long way since the days of TV Microwave dinners when the early ‘models’ were larger versions of baby food, designed to require as little interaction as possible and the shortest time to ‘nuke’ in the oven.

With convenience foods being blended with healthy eating and quality cuisine, the ready meal has become big business. In Ireland alone, ready meals for 2013 are valued at just under €271 million.

Ready meals today extend beyond the microwave packet meal to the frozen pizzas and pre-packed salads. Mash Direct have made a big impact in the pre-packed potato market by simply making the potato more convenient.

In the gluten free market, ready meals are starting to take hold as more and more people cater for “Coeliacs”. When there’s one gluten intolerant person in the house or a visitor, a ready meal can be a very handy way to ensure their food is safe.

They are also nutritionally advanced, no longer the supermarket convenience food of cheap foodstuffs but well balanced, healthy meals, individuals and families can enjoy together. Many more restaurants and take-aways are now selling gluten free offerings, including major brands such as Domino’s Pizza, but the opportunity to grab a meal from the freezer, zap it in the microwave and sit down, is quickly becoming a normality for Coeliacs in Ireland and the UK.

Amy’s Kitchen are a dedicated gluten free brand based in Northamptonshire, England. While they supply through local stores, they also deliver ready meals internationally using online stores such as Ocado and Amazon.

Wiltshire Farm Foods is the UK’s leading frozen meals home delivery service with a depot in Coleraine, County Antrim and stock over 140 gluten free meals.

Do you have frozen or ready meal favourites and where do you get them from? Tell us in the comments below.

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