Market Snapshot: Frozen Food

Growth of frozen food market declined overall, but trends towards plant-based ice cream and healthy options for pizza and frozen entrees are leading growth areas, while flexible packaging gains ground as a packaging format.

Ice Cream

According to “2019 Trends and Advances in Food Packaging and Processing,” a report by PMMI Business Intelligence, frozen food holds a 5.5% share of the nine food categories, with the number of establishments decreasing to 1,125 between 2014 to 2017 (a CAGR of -0.9%), and the number of employees decreasing to 104,474 in the same period, at a CAGR of -0.6%.

Frozen food packaging trends include more flexible packaging to reduce costs and have less weight. Convenience trends continued in frozen foods too, with a growth in hand-held entrees and single-serve frozen treats. Frozen waffles and gelato both surged in growth.

Of frozen food e-commerce trends, one Director of Packaging at a frozen food company said, “I do not foresee much change for frozen foods for e-commerce for a few years; it is expensive to ship.”

Frozen Food Product Processing Trends

·     The frozen food sector is undergoing modernization in both ingredients and packaging.

·      Frozen foods continue to lose ground to fresh foods as millennials gain even more buying power.

·      Frozen foods catching up to trends like vegan, ethnic, gluten-free, organic, dairy-free, non-GMO, or antibiotic-free meat.

·      Small gains will continue to be made by incorporating healthier options in frozen foods.

·      Growth in innovative food paring for frozen vegetables.

·      Demand for products with higher protein and healthier carbohydrates.

Consumer habits are driving change in this market as premium frozen pizza options offer more healthy choices like vegan, gluten-free and organic. Premium frozen pizza was up 4.5% in the last year.

Plant-based ice cream and novelties showed a marked growth with a 27% increase, while conventional ice cream grew only 1%.

The demand for convenient and health conscious options such as organic or natural food products is still in demand for Gen Z, as 29% are more likely to eat shelf-to-microwave dinners, 26% frozen breakfast entrees or sandwiches, and 23% more likely to eat complete frozen dinners.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence “2019 Trends and Advances in Food Packaging and Processing”

Download the FREE Executive Summary below, or PMMI Members can download the entire report here.

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