Why The Frozen Food Industry Is Booming Globally

Frozen food has always been in part about convenience. Prepared meals began to gain widespread acceptance in the 1950s and their popularity has remained high as women began to work outside the house and families got busier with extracurricular activities, according to Supermarket News. During the past seven decades, frozen foods have evolved from turkey and masked potato TV dinners and frozen sweet corn to plant-based meat burritos and zucchini fries. More recently, shoppers are purchasing more frozen food online. The American Frozen Food Institute reported that between 2020 and 2021, 42% of households bought frozen foods online, a 19% increase from 2018. In 2020, frozen food sales increased 75% online.

Plus, stocking a freezer doesn't mean you are subjecting your family to unhealthy eating. Healthy options are important for people who purchase frozen food. According to Food Institute, 74% of shoppers sought healthy frozen food choices. And it is possible to achieve; registered dietitian Leslie Bonci told Eat This, Not That! that consumers should read frozen food labels and look for ready-to-eat entrees that have at least 20 grams of protein, are high in fiber, contain less saturated fat, are low in sodium, and contain vegetables. Registered dietitian Diana Gariglio-Clelland suggests choosing frozen foods with minimal ingredients like frozen fruits and vegetables without added sauces or sugar.

Although frozen foods are sometimes still plagued by the image of underwhelming TV dinners associated with decades gone by, but that's not the case. Rather than a thing of the past, the frozen food industry is growing around the globe. 

Busy lives and easy foods

A study by Insight Partners on the frozen food market indicated the frozen food market is expected to grow from $251.16 billion in 2021 to $373.77 billion by 2028. The study cited consumers' hectic work schedules as the reason and their need to find food items that would save them time and reduce the work needed to make food. 

In 2020 alone, U.S. frozen food sales grew by 21%, according to The Food Institute, which cited the pandemic as a driving force, but this growth is not isolated to the United States. The Insight Partners report expects the Asian Pacific region to experience the biggest uptick in sales. In that part of the world, demand has increased for frozen ready-to-eat meals, snacks, appetizers, and desserts, as a hunger for foods from Western countries grows, particularly among younger generations. Frozen foods aren't often associated with Europe, but the region is also seeing an increase in sales of frozen foods, which found that major companies like Nestle S.A. and Bounduelle Group, are helping with the push.

It seems people's lives are only getting busier so they'll only be searching for even more convenience in the future. Just like consumers, the frozen food market shows no signs of slowing down.