The theory of planned behaviour was used to examine the consumption of ready meals and purchase of takeaways by British consumers. Overall there was partial support for the theory as a predictor of consumption. For both food products attitudes were the best predictor of behavioural intention. Subjective norm was important for ready meals but not for takeaways while perceived control was not a predictor for either food. An additional variable, habit, was included in the study. This increased predictive power but reduced the influence of attitudes. For both food products, behavioural intentions were the best predictor of behaviour for a model including behavioural intentions, perceived behavioural control and habit. The difficulties caused with the inclusion of habit are recognised. In a separate analysis, value for money was the most important of three beliefs investigated for each product for those who intended to consume ready meals or purchase takeaways over the course of the following week (intenders) and those who had no intention of doing so (non-intenders). Beliefs differed significantly between the two groups with intenders having more positive beliefs about the convenience products. A focus on value for money marketing strategies is suggested. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.