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Frozen Foods Market Analysis

The frozen fruit and vegetable market is growing, supported by increased retail demand from consumers, as well as traditional use in food service and industrial preparations, such as creating jams, ice cream, cereal mix and smoothies.

Key facts about the global frozen foods market:

  • Global trade of frozen fruit grew by 20% between 2014 and 2019 from just below 2 million tonnes to 2.5 million tonnes. 
  • Strawberry is the most popular frozen fruit traded and while Poland used to be the largest exporter it has been recently surpassed by Egypt and Mexico. In 2019 Egypt exported almost 228,000 tonnes against 84,000 tonnes from Mexico and 81,361 tonnes from Poland.
  • Raspberries also traded in large volumes, but in comparison to the strawberry market, trade volumes have been sluggish over the last 2-3 years.
  • The frozen blueberry market is more complex as the industry uses different varieties by region. The European market prefers wild blueberries, which are mostly produced in Nordic and Baltic countries, Ukraine and Belarus, and cannot be consumed fresh and are all processed. Canada and the US state of Maine produce wild blueberry, but their varieties are different from the European and not substitutable. The rest of the US, parts of Canada, Chile and Peru produce mostly cultivated blueberries, which are mainly earmarked for fresh use and smaller volumes are processed.     
  • The frozen vegetable market is more stable than the frozen fruit market, and trade hasn’t grown more than 5% per year in the last five years, led by the market structure being dominated by large companies. 

Key themes affecting the frozen foods market

Weather, politics and changing consumer eating habits are playing a key role in shaping the frozen fruit and vegetable industry. Demand for superfoods has resulted in increasing sales of some frozen berries, such as blueberries used as ingredients in smoothies. In Europe and US market dynamics are affected by increasing labour costs as harvesting berries is labour-intensive and the emergence of new market players in North Africa, Asia and Latin America.

To tackle climate change, meet demand for organic output and be more competitive, the industry is working to develop fruit varieties more resistant to climate and pests in order to reduce pesticide use.

The frozen vegetable market has been stable in terms of price and production, but in the last few years weather-related issues have affected crops and prices. Particularly sensitive to the change was the potato market – and notably their use to produce French fries – whose demand is steadily in “new markets” in Latin America and Asia. The European potato industry is affected by antidumping measures introduced by some Latin American countries.

Selection of frozen fruit and vegetable prices and production volumes

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

Egypt frozen strawberry export (tonne)

37878

57251

96358

16931

Serbia Raspberry IQF whole EUR/tonne EXW 

3.48

2.22

2.43

2.6

Strawberries - Poland Strawberries Senga sengana cl ll IQF 25-35mm 1x10kg EXW (EUR/kg)

1.35

1.92

1.91

1.69

Potato - Belgium, Bintje 35mm+, ex-field (EUR/t)

161.55

230.95

181.70

190.41

Sour Cherries-Poland Sour Cherries Lutofwka cl l 0.05% stonecount 1x10kg EXW (EUR/kg)

0.83

1.36

1.09

1.09

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