Frozen Fruits, Vegetables, Mushrooms, and Green Herbs Market

Thursday, July 11th, 2024

The article discusses the benefits and advancements in the frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs industry, highlighting consumer preferences and technological innovations in freezing and packaging. Contributed by MarketsandMarkets

The consumption of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs is crucial for a balanced diet. While fresh produce is commonly preferred, frozen alternatives offer numerous advantages. A long and fascinating history is associated with frozen fruits and vegetables.

The roots of this multi-billion-dollar industry can be traced back to the early 20th century when Clarence Birdseye, an American inventor, entrepreneur, and naturalist, invented the quick-freezing method.

This method facilitated the preservation of foods’ taste and texture, increasing its consumer appeal, which became the upcoming industry’s USP leading to the establishment of the frozen fruits & vegetables industry as we know it today.

According to an article published by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) in November 2022, a survey found that 86 percent of the more than 1,500 people surveyed agreed that having frozen fruits and vegetables makes it easier to eat more produce.

In the same survey, 83 percent reported that frozen fruits and vegetables help them to reduce food waste and save money due to the key attributes of frozen food such as longer shelf life and the ability to prepare only what consumers need.

Additionally, 76 percent of respondents agreed that frozen fruits and vegetables help them eat produce that they otherwise may not know how to prepare. This indicates the rapidly growing consumer inclination toward the consumption of frozen fruits and vegetables.

Moreover, technological advancements in the cold chain industry have also contributed to the expansion of the frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs industry in recent years.

Innovations in freezing technology, such as quick freezing and cryogenic freezing, have significantly improved the quality and texture of frozen products by minimising ice crystal formation.

Furthermore, state-of-the-art packaging materials and vacuum-sealing techniques have extended shelf life while preserving flavours and nutrients.

The following snapshot shows the market for frozen fruits & vegetables. It indicates that the demand for frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs is poised to rise significantly. It is being driven by the sustained and growing popularity of convenience and R-T-E (Ready-To-Eat) meals, which in turn reflects their high demand.

1. Technology Related to Frozen Fruits, Vegetables, Mushrooms, and Green Herbs
Technological advancements have revolutionised the frozen foods market, impacting every stage of the value chain. Digitalisation and automation have streamlined production processes, ensuring consistency and efficiency.

In logistics, temperature-monitoring systems and GPS tracking in refrigerated vehicles enhance the cold chain, reducing wastage and ensuring product integrity.

These technological advancements are not only enhancing product quality and safety but also addressing sustainability concerns by reducing food waste, improving energy efficiency, and exploring innovative packaging materials.

Overall, technology is a driving force behind the evolution and growth of the frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs industry.

High-Pressure Freezing Technology
High-pressure freezing (HPF) is an advanced method utilised for preserving the quality and nutritional content of fruits and vegetables.

By subjecting the produce to pressures ranging from 200 to 400 MPa, HPF enhances the characteristics of ice crystals, leading to improved texture and flavour retention. This technique addresses limitations seen in traditional freezing approaches, such as inefficient heat exchange.

Moreover, HPF holds potential benefits for small-scale operations due to its simplicity and effectiveness in preservation. Continued research into HPF’s application in fruits and vegetables is crucial for optimising its effectiveness and ensuring the production of top-notch frozen goods.

In summary, high-pressure freezing technology presents a promising avenue for maintaining the freshness and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables throughout the freezing process.

Individual Quick Freezing (IQF)
IQF stands for Individual Quick Freezing which is a technique wherein each fruit or vegetable piece is frozen independently to prevent them from adhering to one another.

This process utilises a blast freezer to rapidly freeze the individual chunks of fruits and vegetables at extremely low temperatures, often below -30 degrees Celsius, within seconds. This prevents vegetables, for instance, peas, from lumping and sticking to each other.

Thus, this process produces high-quality frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs as it protects the cellular structure of the vegetable. It also prevents moisture loss, thereby preserving its quality.

The IQF method is quickly becoming popular as compared to its counterparts. This is because it does not compromise the product’s quality and taste in contrast to conventional freezing technology which can damage the food’s cellular structure by forming large ice crystals.

2. Market Dynamics
The frozen fruit and vegetables market is projected to grow at a significant rate. The market has been growing due to the rising production and consumption of convenience food products and the advancement of technologies in the cold-chain and preservation industry.

Moreover, the industry is driven by several macro-economic factors such as an increase in world population, a rise in global per capita income, and the open world market.

3. Value Chain Analysis
The frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs value chain is a multifaceted process that encompasses the production, distribution, and consumption of frozen food products.

It begins with inbound logistics, where raw materials such as fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs are sourced from suppliers. These materials then undergo processing, freezing, and packaging during production to maintain product quality.

Outbound logistics involves the distribution of frozen products to various retail channels, including supermarkets, grocery stores, and online platforms, with an emphasis on cold storage and transportation to preserve freshness. Marketing and sales activities create consumer demand through advertising and promotions.

Support activities such as procurement, technology development, human resources, infrastructure, and regulatory compliance underpin the primary activities. These activities contribute to cost leadership, product differentiation, and sustainability, which are the key drivers of competitive advantage in the frozen foods market.

In essence, the frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs market value chain is a dynamic network of interconnected processes and stakeholders, from sourcing raw materials to delivering frozen delights to consumers, with each stage playing a vital role in ensuring the quality and availability of frozen food products.

4. Frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, green herbs: Ecosystem Mapping
The market mapping of the ecosystem is categorised into demand-side and supply-side companies.

The supply side of the frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs market encompasses a complex network of entities and activities involved in the production, processing, and distribution of frozen food products.

At its core are the manufacturers and processors who transform raw materials, such as fruits and vegetables, into frozen food items.

These companies invest heavily in research and development to innovate freezing techniques, improve product quality, and introduce new offerings that align with evolving consumer preferences, such as organic or plant-based options.

Suppliers of packaging materials and equipment play a crucial role in the supply side, providing the necessary tools and materials for preserving frozen food quality and safety during storage and transportation.

The demand side of the frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs market encompasses a broad spectrum of stakeholders, each contributing to the overall consumption and growth of frozen food products.

At its core, the demand side primarily consists of consumers who make purchasing decisions based on their preferences, needs, and convenience.

Furthermore, the demand side includes retailers and distributors who act as intermediaries between producers and consumers. These entities play a crucial role in stocking, marketing, and selling frozen food products to consumers through various channels, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and online platforms.

5. Way Forward
The frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs market is poised for a dynamic future marked by a combination of technological innovation, sustainability initiatives, and evolving consumer preferences.

As we move forward, embracing advanced processing technologies, such as flash freezing, cryogenic freezing, AI-driven quality control, and sustainable packaging solutions, will enhance efficiency and ensure product quality.

To ensure the growth and sustainability of this sector, prioritising investment in research and development for advancing freezing technologies, packaging innovations, and distribution strategies is crucial.

Effective collaboration among various stakeholders, such as farmers, processors, and retailers, is essential for driving innovation, ensuring food safety, and adapting to changing consumer needs.

Additionally, educating consumers about the nutritional advantages and culinary flexibility of frozen products can significantly boost acceptance and demand, ultimately fueling the expansion of the frozen fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and green herbs market.

By fostering innovation, adopting sustainable practices, and staying attuned to consumer trends, this industry can navigate the path ahead with resilience and responsiveness to create a future that is both prosperous and sustainable.