ANUFOOD India 2023

Analyzing the "sub-zero hero"- The frozen food market


Frozen food market trends by region     Photo - Grand view research

Published By - FoodTechBiz Desk


Frozen food products are preserved at low temperatures and refrigerated for future use. These include fruits, vegetables, edible roots, ready-to-eat (RTE) meals, seafood, beverages, meat products, bakery, desserts, and snacks. The demand for frozen foods is driving worldwide due to their easy preparation, retention of nutritional content, and time and money savings as they can be stored for long durations. They also minimize food wastage during farming, preparation, and transportation.

The global frozen food market's value in 2021 was USD 177.07 Billion. In India, the frozen foods market size reached INR 144.3 Billion in 2022 and is expected to grow further. Based on an article published in Progressive Grocer in August 2021, frozen foods' popularity, including breakfast meals, rose by 10.9%, dinners/entrees by 4.9%, frozen meat by 2.7%, and processed chicken by 10.4%. The products are extensively utilized by numerous full-service restaurants, hotels, resorts, and quick-service restaurants, which is bound to expand the frozen food market further. 

Market classification

Based on type, the frozen food market is divided into frozen vegetable snacks, frozen meat products, and frozen fruits and vegetables. Out of these, frozen meat products occupy the largest market share currently.

Geographically, the market is bifurcated into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa, where North America made the largest contribution to the global market, with a share of 33.2% in 2021. In the future, opening opportunities for developing country suppliers in Brazil, Canada, and Mexico are set to surpass the market growth trend.

According to the distribution channel, the market is offline and online. Supermarkets/hypermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, and local shops make up the offline channel. In 2021, the offline segment held the largest revenue share of around 89.2%.

Based on an article in Talking Retail in 2021, frozen food sales via the grocery market increased by 14.4% in value and 11.5% in volume in 2020. Easy access to such products in brick-and-mortar stores on a global level is expected to keep the segment's momentum in the future. The online channel is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2022 to 2030.

Market dynamics

  • Escalation in the consumption of ready meals among the working population and the easy availability of frozen foods in physical stores is expected to boost market growth.
  • Key players are entering into partnerships and strategic distribution agreements for business expansion, which is expected to push market growth in the future.
  • Growing trends like gluten-free diets will further boost the market for gluten-free ready meals that are sold frozen. For example, in March 2022, Halo Top, an ice cream brand from Wells Enterprises, launched a gluten-free, vegan fruity frozen dessert made with real fruits, with less sugar and calories.
  • In India, the market for frozen foods has been gathering momentum as they do not need any additional preparation and culinary proficiency. Additionally, frozen snacks offer enhanced flavors as compared to their home-cooked counterparts.
  • Initiatives like the penetration of frozen food companies into eCommerce websites allow consumers to get products directly delivered to their homes. This trend will surely drive market growth for frozen foods in the coming times.
  • Being available around the year, frozen foods do not depend on seasonal variations. This is a key factor in their popularity.
  • The increase in working women makes it tough to cook meals, making them turn to frozen foods. This is also a factor driving the industry's growth.
  • Due to the stay-at-home trend during the pandemic, hygiene and safety issues drive consumers to make shorter trips to the grocery stores and rely more on frozen foods that can be stored and prepared later.
  • Frozen French fries are popular worldwide as they are easy to make and allow moderate consumption per the consumer's desire, leading them to store the remaining product in the freezer. As per the Central Statistical Office of Poland, in 2021, Russia exported 28% of frozen French fries. Nearly 494 thousand tons of French fries were produced in Germany, from about 429 thousand tons in 2020.
  • To increase their consumer base, manufacturers are innovating and constantly introducing new products, such as frozen ready-to-eat meals, frozen snacks, frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen meat, poultry, and seafood.

Photo - Statistisches Bundesamt via Mordor Intelligence

Key companies acing the market game

Some of the leading players in the frozen food segment include McCain Foods, Nestle, Wawona Frozen Foods, Bellisio Foods, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Tyson Foods, The Kraft Heinz Company, The Kellogg Company, Venky's (India), Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable, Al Kabeer Group, and Innovative Foods (Sumeru).

Looking into the future

The global frozen food market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2022 to 2030 and is set to reach USD 278.47 Billion by 2030. In India, the market is predicted to reach INR 353.3 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 16% during 2023-2028.

At present, the frozen food market is challenged by consumers who prefer fresh foods. However, the rising working population, hectic lifestyles, and the importance of ready-to-eat products fuel the growth of frozen food items worldwide. In the next few years, the increasing popularity of shelf-stable foods among consumers globally is expected to inflate the industry's size.


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