In a highly fragmented frozen foods market, top five players collectively hold a meagre share in the overall market, according to a business intelligence study by Transparency Market Research (TMR). In this scenario, regional and local markets are largely served by regional players due to cost-intensive nature of long cold chains. In the coming years, however, the share of top players is likely to up as they continue to expand through advanced technology and acquisitions. Despite the fragmented business landscape, top brands such as The Schwan Food Company and McCains along with some local and unorganized players collectively held more than 65% share in the frozen food market in 2012.
As per the TMR report, the global frozen food market is predicted to be worth US$293.7 bn by the end of 2019 expanding at a CAGR of 3.9% between 2013 and 2019. The demand in the market translated into a revenue of US$224.7 bn in 2012. Among the various product type, frozen ready-to-eat meals holds the leading share in the overall market. Frozen potatoes is anticipated to expand at the leading growth rate over the forecast period. Geography-wise, Europe leads the frozen food market; the region held more than 35% share of the market in 2012. The growth of the region is predominantly driven by demand for frozen food in Germany. Asia Pacific, however, is anticipated to emerge as the most promising market for frozen food in the future.
Rising Purchasing Power and Changing Lifestyle Stokes Demand
Rise in per capita income and changing purchasing behavior especially in emerging economies are primarily fuelling the frozen food market. Economic development and equal opportunity of higher education for women in emerging economies have led women to get into the workforce over the recent past. Long hours of work along with several other professional and personal commitments have led to changing eating habits. Individuals, families in urban areas are increasingly opting for ready-to-eat meals that simply requires heating before it can be consumed.
Frozen food serves to meet the changing food habits of urban consumers as it can be stocked in the freezer for few days. Frozen foods are available for several food needs such as main course, entrée, snack, and desserts. Frozen foods are available using a wide range of ingredients such as chicken, fish, vegetables, beans, etc.
Technological Advances in Cold Chains Benefits Market
Technological advances in the manufacture and transport of frozen food is also propelling the frozen food market. Modern food manufacturing facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment wherein most part of the cooking process is automated to maintain a high degree of hygiene. The packaging and transport of food is also automated with minimal human contact to minimize risk of contamination. Frozen food are maintained at subzero temperature after preparation that prevents solid from liquefying.
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Frozen food is considered as the next generation of convenient ready foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables are considered as food for the next generation due to advances in freezing technologies that helps extend their shelf life. Product innovation and attractive packaging have also been aiding the uptake of frozen foods.