7-9 September 2023 Bombay Exhibition Centre,
ANUFOOD India 2023
Ice-breaking frozen food trends
Photo - KamranAydinov on Freepik
Author- Vini Sharma
The frozen food segment is truly experiencing a golden era and is flourishing in India steadily. From only occasional snacks for parties to now making and providing everyday food items for every household, brands working in the frozen food segment have truly evolved and significantly impacted consumer purchasing habits and preferences.
With so many options for everyone to choose from—plant-based, non-vegetarian, vegan, or pure vegetarian—people who were juggling office work and home-schooling, as well as those who wished to limit their trips to the mall, have now found comfort in being able to find frozen fruit, vegetables, and meals at home.
Some of the significant factors for its increased use are convenience and sustainability. Not only does frozen food reduce food wastage, but it can also save money because only what you need is prepared—allowing foods to have a longer shelf life.
The resurgence of the frozen meal also showcases that time-pressed shoppers are looking for simple meals that do not compromise on taste: an area where the fine frozen food industry excels. As we move into 2023, here are some frozen foods trends to watch out for:
Frozen meat alternatives
The past year has seen many trends, but one that has made it into 2023 is the emergence of plant-based meat/ meat alternatives. What started as a trend has now been accepted as a form of lifestyle for many and has encouraged frozen food segment brands and manufacturers to introduce plant-based products/ meat alternatives. The pandemic also prompted consumers to have a more conscious approach to food and health.
For example, experiments have been done to create frozen food alternatives with similar textures and tastes as chicken meat from materials like mushrooms and jackfruit. This makes it possible for people who would otherwise be unable to eat certain kinds of food to enjoy what they love in a healthier form.
Frozen ready to eat meals
With many consumers finding it hard to prepare meals from scratch, ready-to-eat products have become popular and remain essential in the food industry due to convenience. Brands are also taking steps to keep up with changing tastes by introducing new initiatives like healthier ingredients.
The frozen ready to eat meals were adopted by many due to the change of flavor pallet it offered, as it gives the opportunity of trying new cuisines and flavors at a reasonable rate with the comfort of eating at home with additional claims such as non-GMO, dye-free, artificial flavoring free, low-fat, or low-calorie, fiber-rich or protein-rich, lactose or gluten-free products and much more.
In addition, new developments also allow customers to make their meals more personalized by adding more or fewer condiments to their prepared dishes.
The emergence of new frozen snacks
The global shift in the working patterns of household conduct has led to higher snack consumption by everyone throughout the day. This has encouraged many manufacturers of sectors, such as desserts, to develop new frozen snack proposals while experimenting with better-for-you claims and aiming to provide more personal moments for all small indulgent treats.
One of the other trends that stuck out throughout the pandemic is conscious, sustainable purchases. Many brands have come up with various elements and have adapted many methods to create a more sustainable product. More importantly, many consumers have become conscious and purchase accordingly; hence, when it comes to packaging, renowned brands are now coming up with more compostable options and more recyclable alternatives that can help contribute to a sustainable tomorrow well.
As a result, there has been an increase in purchases of frozen foods. Frozen food offers convenience to consumers. They can enjoy meals without worrying about spoilage and costs associated with buying large amounts when they might be unable to consume everything before it goes bad. Heat it and eat it
The end of a tiring day is blissful when you have something hot to eat. To avoid the hassle of prepping and cooking, many people turn to order food, where oven-ready frozen products are now an option for them.
From frozen dough and vegetables to pizzas and kulchas, oven-ready frozen food products have experienced unstoppable growth in the past years, as it offers the comfort of less prepping and effort. With the industry constantly emerging with new formats and flavors, both sweet and salty, the possibility of this growing rise in the coming years is highly possible.
What the future looks like
With a wide variety of products available, the industry is well-positioned to meet the needs of a growing population. The future of the frozen food industry looks bright, and it is certain to continue to be a major player in the food industry for years to come. The frozen food industry is not only growing but also evolving. It has been a hot topic of discussion in the news lately because of the changes occurring within this industry. Many factors, such as convenience, health and wellness, and dietary restrictions, contribute to these changes. The frozen food industry has evolved by creating new products for consumers and offering healthier options for people who want an alternative to fresh produce.
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