Is frozen food the way of the future?

Globalization and increasing international trade are the most factors liable for the event of the frozen foods industry globally. With economic development and the increasing purchasing power parity, consumers are able to afford premium products with improved nutritional value. This fuels the trade of various food products in between regions.

International trade of frozen foods has also gained a lot of prominence as a result of increasing demand, complemented by improved transportation facilities. Increased consumption of these products in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific and South America has also contributed to the increase in the sale of frozen bakery products.

For instance, according to a research by the Agriculture Marketing Resource Centre (AGMRC), the U.S is the world’s largest producer of strawberries. In 2014 it produced 3 billion pounds of strawberries, valued at 2.9 billion USD, of which 63.4 million pounds of frozen strawberries were exported, valued at 45 million USD.

This is also shown in the global seafood market where it is witnessing immense growth due to the health benefits offered by these products. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations (FAO), an estimated 2.3 percent hike in global fish production combined with the good market conditions around the world, led to a big boost in trade revenues in 2017. India, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Norway were the top exporters of seafood in 2017. Increase within the export and import of such products boosts the general frozen foods market growth.

The frozen foods market globally, especially in Asia Pacific, is growing and fast. This growth will continue in the future with consideration on producing new specialty frozen foods products with many inventions for health-conscious consumers. The Asian Pacific frozen foods market is extremely concentrated in China and Japan due to the high consumption of meat and fish.

Do you know that Japan is actually the second largest market for frozen food in Asia Pacific? Similar to the worldwide frozen foods market, the Japanese market is very fragmented with major companies like Nirichei Corporation, Katokichi, and Ajinomoto Co.

These companies also happen to be focusing on expanding their horizons overseas by launching new products and acquiring new companies. For instance, in 2017 Ajinomoto Foods Europe acquired Labeyrie Traiteur Surgeles. This acquisition was made to strengthen the company’s position in France and also to increase the company’s market share in France.

Europe is currently estimated as the most dominant market. The value marketplace for frozen foods in Europe is really concentrated, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. Europe acquired the most important share of the worldwide frozen foods market in 2017. Its frozen foods market was valued at 68,951.3 million USD in 2017; and was projected to grow at a CAGR

 of 4.3 percent from 2018. Italy is projected to succeed in a worth of 8282.6 million USD in 2023, recording the very best CAGR of 5.0 percent during the forecast period. Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables has been witnessed in Europe which is thanks to the expansion of the frozen foods market, particularly the vegetable and fruit section.

Germany accounted for the most important share of 23.5 percent within the European frozen foods market in 2017.  It is stated that almost 17,000 items are found under the frozen food category according to the German Frozen Food Institute, which makes it one of the most fragmented markets. It also has an attractive market for both manufacturing markets and exporters. The frozen food market in Germany has good infrastructure and a large consumer base with high purchasing power. The European market as noticed is driven by the growth of the food industry.

Trends such as shelf life enhancement and packaging present further growth opportunities in the frozen food market. As a result, companies in the food industry are investing in technology to store refrigerated dough, frozen meat and vegetables, partially cooked and fully cooked food for extended durations. Factors such as developments in the retail sector and technological advancements I cold chain are driving frozen food market globally.

However, despite all this the preference for fresh and natural food products and the need for maintaining a constant temperature for the sustainability of frozen foods acts as a restraining factor for the market.

Frozen food also plays a huge role in food wastage reduction and climate change. Before the existence of frozen food millions of tonnes of edible, nutritious fresh food would go to waste once it passed its due date. This would often lead to a lot of loss in the food industry and to the consumers too. So to answer the question, yes frozen food IS the future with how rapid the market is increasing globally.

Please feel free to also look at this video of a lecture about future of food retail.