Can brands bring world cuisine home? World cuisine category report 2022 | Category Report

What do Charlie Bigham’s, La Famiglia Rana and Itsu have in common? They’ve all capitalised on the demand for premium, convenient world cuisine in the wake of covid.

The first is up by a staggering £21.8m, while the second has made nearly £5m in its first full year, and the final has grown value sales of its frozen lines by more than a third [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 11 September 2022].

The trio are the vanguard of brands propping up the chilled ready meals category. Over the past year, branded volumes have grown almost a fifth, with value up 24.4% to £234m [Kantar 52 w/e 4 September 2022].

“This growth has been driven predominantly by new shoppers, which has contributed £22.6m,” points out Kantar analyst Oliver Akiwumi.

By contrast, the larger own label ready meals sector has lost shoppers in the past 12 months, resulting in a 5.3% slump in volumes.

It suggests brands are better at catering to the quest to find a speedy hit of world cuisine that’s worth splashing the cash.

In theory, chilled ready meals should be in the perfect place to offer exotic tastes in the wake of the pandemic.

After all, sales of cooking sauces have declined 4.3% to £724.2m – with volumes down 10.1% – as normal life has resumed and shoppers have been less willing to spend time cooking [Kantar].

“People have returned to their busy schedules, and the need is for quicker and more convenient meal options,” says Akiwumi.

Yet volumes are down by 3.3% across the chilled ready meals category. While value is up 6.3% to £1.83bn, that’s entirely due to an average price rise of 10.2%.

Part of this is the result of rising inflation across grocery. More interestingly, though, it’s also been driven by shoppers buying more premium, branded propositions.

Branded ready meals come at an average of £3.78 – 29% more expensive than own label versions, which are £2.94. And many of the fastest-growing brands are even pricier.

“There’s a shift towards British people being willing to try different world products”

A Charlie Bigham’s lasagne for

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The 25 Best Hotel Brands

As the past two years have shown, the hotel industry is remarkably resilient. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic presented numerous hurdles — including lockdowns that, in some cases, meant that a property had to close its doors for a year or more. But a renewed sense of hope has taken hold, as travelers, eager to plan those long-postponed vacations, are booking hotels and resorts in numbers that rival pre-pandemic heights.


Every year for the World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotel brands on their locations, rooms/facilities, food, service, and overall value.


Auberge Resorts Collection, which has opened or renovated three properties in the past year — in Mexico, New Mexico, and Costa Rica — made the list at No. 16. The company is riding high on its continued expansion in some of the world’s most beautiful locations. “I discovered this brand during the pandemic,” wrote one reader. “And I will not stay anywhere else from now on. It’s a real home away from home.”


Another brand at the forefront of readers’ minds is Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which came in at No. 9 and has recently debuted properties in Madrid, St. Bart’s, and São Paulo, Brazil. One reader cited “outstanding attention to detail” at the hotels. And the ultra-luxurious Aman Resorts earned the No. 22 spot thanks to “the best service in the world” — a trend that will undoubtedly continue at its New York City property, set to open later this year.


But it was the New Delhi–based Oberoi Hotels & Resorts that won the No. 1 spot. Keep reading for details on what makes it so special to T+L readers — and which other hospitality groups made this year’s list of best hotel brands.



1. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

With properties spanning the Middle East, North Africa, and Indonesia — in addition to its home base in the Indian

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