GROWING DEMAND FOR FROZEN FOODS ACROSS THE GLOBE
Advances in freezing technologies, innovative refrigerator displays in supermarkets, better and faster supply chain solutions – are all a response to the increasing consumption and therefore growing demand of frozen foods.
There are several reasons behind the growth of the frozen foods market such as the increase of the global population, scarcity of food in some regions, strong demand from emerging economies and specific demographic changes in the modern world. The increasing number of women who are working and have less time for cooking together with growing amount of one-person households determines the upward trend of the demand for frozen foods.
All of these factors make it necessary for frozen foods producers to offer a greater variety of convenience foods, new product launches and intelligent product positioning. Consumers are getting more aware that frozen food can, in many cases, be a better alternative for a healthy and convenient lifestyle compared to conventional fresh market. We see that demand and supply is growing in supermarkets with more space allocated for frozen products.
An increasing attention is given to frozen ready meals, which was registered as the largest segment in 2014 with a value over USD 84 bln. Again, the rising working population, increasing incomes and improved lifestyles are expected to sustain the demand growth of this segment in the next years to come. Frozen meat products are the second largest product segment and it is forecasted to rise due to increasing beef consumption, particularly in Asia Pacific and Middle East. The frozen fruits and vegetables segment is experiencing a surge in demand due to the introduction of staple frozen foods and the advancements in freezing technologies, which allow the manufacturers to preserve the nutritional value of the vegetables and fruits for a longer period of time. This segment is expected to grow significantly at a CAGR of over 4% by 2022, due to the rising demand for confectionary and dairy products.
The global frozen foods market is anticipated to be worth USD 307.33 billion by the end of 2020 according to Technavio. When looking at the regional trends, we see that European consumers highly depend on packaged foods considering it to be more hygienic, which is a major reason for its remarkable growth in this region. As the European Food Safety Authority is imposing new strict government regulations on flavours and additives used, contaminants and food contact materials, the demand in Europe is expected to grow in the coming years. On the other hand, the Asia Pacific region is anticipated to encounter the highest growth in the next few years with an estimated CAGR of 4.8% due to emerging economies like China and India, which have a rising manpower along with their increasing disposable incomes.
Among the main players on the market, Nestle is seen as the leader in frozen foods production, along with General Mills Inc., Heinz, Unilever Plc, McCain Foods, The Schwan Food Company, Iceland Foods Ltd., Birds Eye Foods and Tyson Foods as the biggest actors in the sector.
IQF – THE NEXT LEVEL OF FROZEN
As mentioned, the major market trends are also influenced by the new freezing technology available. The individual quick freezing is the natural response to today’s pretentious customer. Today the consumer developed sophisticated and demanding expectations of the frozen food they are buying. The producers are challenged to offer better quality, better appearance while preserving a high nutritional value.
IQF technology is meeting the market’s expectations. IQF freezing at source is a striking trend on the market, replacing the old practice of long freezing in bulk which damages heavily the product and increases the costs by transporting unnecessary product waste. By using IQF technology, the quality of the products is not compromised, as compared to freezing in cold storages.
Choosing between the different IQF technologies, makes the difference in the quality of the final product. High yield, reliable food safety, natural appearance and energy efficiency are the main pillars of OctoFrost™ which are insuring the best possible quality on the IQF market.