The fast-growing frozen food market

The global frozen food market, estimated at USD 220 billion, is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.1% over the next 5 years.

According to Markets and Markets (1), the global frozen food market is estimated to account for about USD 219.9 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach a value of about USD 282.5 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1%.

In terms of geographical distribution, Europe was the main market for frozen products in 2018 (32.3%), followed by North America (30.6%), Asia-Pacific (20.0%), South America (10.3%) and the Middle East and Africa (6.8%).

The development of retail channels in the form of supermarkets, hypermarkets, and convenience stores along with technological advancements in the cold chain are major driving factors for this market, especially in Asia. Countries such as India offer strong opportunities for further market expansion as illustrated by the expected growth of the Indian retail industry to USD 1,200 billion by 2021 from USD 795 billion in 2017.

The Middle East and Africa are expected to witness the fastest growth during the 2018-2023 period. Population growth, rapid urbanization, and the rise in consumer awareness about the benefits of frozen food are the key factors driving the demand for frozen food in these regions.

By product, the convenient & ready meals segment dominates the global market in 2018 and is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. According to Markets and Markets, this is due to the changing and busy lifestyles of people and the increasing population of working women. Frozen foods are easy to prepare and take less time for preparation. They are more and more perceived as healthy and having a high nutritional value.

Another report “The Power of Frozen 2019” (2) related to the US frozen food market confirms these trends: frozen foods have made a come back with an increase of 2.6% in 2018 vs 2017, representing USD 57 billion. The Top 3 frozen food categories with the largest percentage of dollar growth were soups/sides (+9.8%), appetizers/snack rolls (+5.8%) and breakfast food (+5.7%). Vegetables (25%), meat/poultry (19%) and ice creams (18%) remained the most consumed frozen products: respectively 25%, 19% and 18% of consumers purchased them every few days or daily.