No more ‘freeze’ for Frozen Food Market, Indians demand for more

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Frozen food was a “not-so-popular” term in India until a decade ago, however, it has now managed to reach the racks of almost all super markets and hypermarkets of the country. The Indian frozen food market has been witnessing a slow yet significant growth because of a number of factors including changing preferences of homemakers, new likes and demands of children, busy lifestyle (as it leaves with no much time for buying fresh groceries), and new inputs by market players. It is seen that in terms of sales volume, frozen snacks and veggies make up the biggest share. On the other hand, frozen red meat, poultry and seafood are still seeing slow growth.

The frozen food market has three end users namely- foreign customers, commercial businesses, and retail consumers. The growth of this market is attributed to rising demands from the hospitality sector. Hotels, Quick Service Restaurants, cafes, and fast food outlets depend heavily on frozen food items so as to offer best quality food services to their customers. Entry of new players and their innovative product offerings are also attracting Indian customers at large. These days, brands are also into heavy marketing and promotions. Another reason bolstering the frozen food market is rising demand from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities of the country.

Among the top players in the market are Mother Dairy,  Godrej Tyson Foods, Venky’s,  McCain Foods, Al Kabeer, and other national and regional brands. Over the past five years, retail sector has registered a strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Before that, players in this market were highly dependent on exports. All set to take advantage of this changing scenario is Mother’s Recipe, a popular Indian brand that manufactures cooking pastes, pickles, and ready-to-cook mix. Estimating a Rs 500 Crore turnover for financial year 2018-19, Mother’s Recipe is gearing up for its entry into the frozen food market. The company is planning to erect a separate unit for the same in Gujarat. This frozen unit will be for both domestic sales and exports. According to the firm, frozen vegetarian snacks segment is flourishing at a CAGR of 21% to 22%.

“Features like easy-to-cook, less time consumption, & longer shelf life are encouraging Indians to buy frozen food items”

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Retail spaces including Dmart, Food Bazaar, Spencer’s, HyperCity, and Easyday have helped sales of frozen foods increase, thanks to their large scale cold storage facility. Another thing to be noticed here is that increase in the demand for frozen foods is likely to push up the cold storage market. According to Ashish Guru, Senior Vice President of the Federation of Cold Storage Associations of India (FCAOI) and President of Gujarat Cold Storage Association, building  rooftop solar energy power generation plant will bring down power expenditure significantly, thereby lowering the expenses of cold storage providers and/or users. Understanding the significance of solar energy in cold storage, the Central government and Gujarat government has agreed to offer subsidies for solar power plant installation.