Frozen foods do not contain preservatives and are free from microbial attacks as these are flash frozen at sub-zero temperatures. Packaged foods are processed food prepared commercially for ease of consumption and to induce longer shelf life. Packaged food essentially includes ready-to-eat (RTD) meals and other shelf-stable products.
Frozen & packaged food market can be broadly categorized into meat, poultry & seafood, frozen specialties, baby food, baked goods, fruits & vegetables, RTD meals and others. Out of these, frozen meat, poultry & seafood dominates frozen food segment while baby food is expected to have promising growth in packaged food segment. Growing consumer preference for ready-to-eat meals and convenience associated with innovative & microwave-friendly packaging are key factors contributing to the growth of frozen & packaged food market. In addition, organic & natural frozen food is also gaining popularity due to increasing health-consciousness among consumers.
Frozen meat products are expected to witness high growth attributed to factors such as rising meat consumption, convenience of consumption and increase in middle class population. Industry is also expected to witness constant innovation in packaging technology to support and maintain freshness & nutritional quality of food products.
Packaged & frozen food market is expected to grow in near future; however, some factors like, significant logistics & storage cost, stringent government regulations for food safety & hygiene and fierce competition among vendors are likely to have negative impact on the market.
Presently, food wastage is a major economic and environmental concern globally. Frozen food technologies can provide a better solution to food wastage by freezing leftover food at their peak ripeness for later use. In addition, technological and government support for sustainable packaging solutions such as bio-degradable & recycled plastic packaging can help reduce waste to a major extent.
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