Frozen Food Demand Rises Worldwide

Consumers sought out convenient and longer-shelf-life foods during the pandemic lockdowns.

August 12, 2020

NOIDA, India—The global frozen food market is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% from 2020–26 to reach $320.06 billion by 2026, according to the UnivDatos Market Insights report titled "Frozen Food Market.”

The major factors propelling the market include the introduction of longer-shelf-life products, an increase in the working population worldwide and rising demand from various end-users, ranging from hotels and restaurants to fast-food chains.

Among consumers, the demand for frozen food products has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the study conducted on behalf of the German Frozen Food Institute, a third of surveyed households said they intensified the use of frozen products such as vegetables/herbs, followed by fish and pizza. Specifically, the adult consumers stated they used more frozen products during the lockdown period due to the longer shelf life.

Based on the product category, the market is bifurcated into ready-to-eat, ready-to-drink and ready-to-cook categories. The ready-to-eat food segment dominated the market in 2019, accounting for a 42.9% share in terms of value owing to the feasibility and consumption at the desired period without worrying about the deterioration of the product. The segment is anticipated to generate revenue of $138.52 billion by 2026. However, the ready-to-cook food segment is expected to grow at the highest growth rate during the forecast period.

The frozen-ready meals segment generated revenue of $54.05 billion in 2019, owing to the increase in consumer preference and rising disposable income. Based on distribution channels, the market is fragmented into hypermarkets/supermarkets, independent retailers, convenience store and specialist retailers/online merchants. The supermarket/hypermarkets dominated the market followed by other channels including online modes. The growing penetration of the online platforms, rising demand for convenience food and increasing assortment of frozen prepared meals at convenience stores are expected to end in inflated revenue share in a predictable future.

To read more about frozen food trends in the U.S., see “Frozen Foods Heat Up” in the May 2019 issue of NACS Magazine.