Consumers in developed countries identify frozen food products as useful home meal solutions. They appreciate the ease and quickness of preparation which is considered to be the main USP of any frozen product available in the market. In India, domestic per-capita consumption of frozen food is close to negligible and is about 50 times less than our counterparts in China. Previously, the frozen food industry in India was limited to only basic frozen vegetables and French fries. But nowadays, there is wide range of products from fruits & vegetables to frozen meats and from frozen snacking to full meal options. The industry has recorded a strong growth with increasing customer craving, growing awareness and acceptance, increase in selling points, rise in number of working women, changing lifestyle, deeper penetration by organized retail players and increase in available freezer space at the retail domain.
According to “India Frozen Food Market Outlook, 2021”, the market is segregated into six segments like frozen vegetables, frozen snacks, frozen seafood, frozen poultry, frozen red meat and others. Frozen snacks and vegetables are the largest category in terms of sales volume whereas frozen poultry, seafood and red meat are still new to Indian consumers. There are three end users who combine to form the Indian frozen food industry; they are retail consumers, commercial businesses and exports. Before five years, players were largely dependent on export market which earned significant revenues to them. However, with growing importance of frozen food in the commercial and retail sector, domestic market has also turned to be lucrative. Today, the Quick Service Restaurants, fast food chains, hotels, and cafes from not only metros, but even from tier-II and tier-III cities are gearing up to offer their customers the finest in food along with the ambience. Hence, they have started using frozen food to serve their orders quickly and efficiently without any hassles.
Retail sector is also growing with a strong compounded annual growth rate from the last five years. Despite the challenges being faced by the cold chain industry, the frozen food market is expected to grow due to consumer demand and many new players and brands entering into the industry. These new players will bring into new varieties of product to fulfill the consumer demand. The market is largely dominated by select national brands and some regional players. Al Kabeer, McCain Foods, Mother Dairy, Venky’s, Innovative Foods, Godrej Tyson Foods etc. are some of the major players operating in the industry. Frozen foods have also witnessed rapid growth with the evolution and growth in modern retail. Today, modern trade/retail is a more favored shopping destination as consumers find greater variety, quality and convenient pack sizes here. Moreover, modern stores also provide space for better brand visibility and communication. Some of the best performing retail stores include Tesco, Spencer’s, HyperCity, Food Bazaar, Easyday, DMart etc. which have extensive cold storage facilities with them.
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