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Frozen Food Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Frozen Ready Meals, Frozen Seafood & Meat Products, Frozen Snacks & Bakery Products, and Others), Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/Hypermarkets, Specialty Stores, Convenience Stores, and Online Retail), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104138



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The global frozen food market size was USD 231.38 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 256.46 billion in 2021 to USD 385.04 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.98% during the 2021-2028 period. According to our analysis the global market registered beyond-average year-on-year growth of 15.35% in 2020. This could be mainly attributed to consumer behavior of panic buying in the wake of the spread of the COVID-19 disease on a global level. The rise in CAGR is attributable to the increasing demand for frozen products from developing countries and also increased demand from the food service industry.

This market is witnessing progressive growth due to the rising demand for convenience food products, such as ready meals, and cold cuts. The hectic lifestyles among millennials and expanding working populations worldwide have played a crucial role in the consumption of ready-to-eat (RTE) foods. This is expected to help in the expansion of RTE foods on a global level. Consumer spending on shelf-stable foods has increased over the past few years. Complementing this is the rise in the employment rate globally. This has facilitated the consumption of RTE and on-the-go foods.

Lockdowns and Less Manpower in Production Plants amid COVID-19 to Hinder Market Growth

This market experienced a sudden increase in sales due to the panic buying experienced by consumers with the fear of worldwide lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Frozen items along with other essentials were the immediate food products getting sold in the initial days of lockdown due to their longer shelf life. As days passed, there were fewer/no stocks of these products due to reduced manpower in production plants, but considering the necessity of the food products, government bodies in all countries allowed the manufacturing of edible products. Thus, the production was back to normal, and a well-organized supply chain led to ease in the transfer of products to the distributors after the 2nd quarter of 2020. This also affected consumers’ buying patterns. Since the working population started working from home their eating habits changed. In addition, consumers started cooking their food as they sought to reprioritize their food expenses. This led to a decline in sales of frozen items. Gradually, lockdowns were lifted in phases, but the food service industries in various other countries were not fully functional until the 2nd quarter of 2021.

According to The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and FMI, Frozen Food is a pandemic powerhouse ringing in USD 65.1 billion in retail sales in 2020, a 21% increase compared to a year ago. All meal occasions such as dinner, lunch, snacks, and breakfast are contributing to an increase in frozen food purchases. Moreover, according to a report by BBC, during the pandemic, consumers in the U.S. saw an increase in online retailing platforms. The increased crowd in supermarket stores led to a rise in the sales of online shopping.


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Rising Consumer Awareness about Online Retailing to Favor Growth

The recent trend among consumers is online shopping. Online retail is one of the major factors fueling the growth of this industry. The introduction of various new apps makes it even more convenient for consumers to purchase edible products according to their preferences. There are a variety of products available which attracts the working population as they tend to avoid shopping from retail outlets. According to data published by Eurostat in 2018, around 26% of the population purchased edible products through e-commerce websites/apps. The growing penetration of smartphone usage and the internet is expected to drive the frozen food market growth and to create opportunities for new entrants. In addition, according to AFFI, the vast majority of online retail customers were adding frozen to their digital cart.

Over the past year, 42% of households that buy frozen food products have bought these products online, which is way higher than 23% recorded in 2018. Online frozen food dollar sales increased 75% in 2020, with frozen dinners/entrees, meat, poultry, and seafood being the biggest online sellers. This trend is expected to sustain in the long run and is expected to boost market growth during the forecast period.


Increase in Women's Employment Rate to Drive Market    

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the women's employment rate. Due to the increasing number of employed women, it has become difficult for them to cook or prepare fresh meals every day. This has resulted in the purchasing of ready meals and frozen meals. According to the U.S. Department of Labor in 2019, women's employment rate in China is 43.7%. Similarly, in the U.S. women's employment rate is 46%, and in South Africa, it is 45%. These are among the leading driving factors that are aiding the growth of the market.

According to the International Labor Organization in 2019, the unemployment rate in developed and high-income countries such as the United States, U.K., Canada, and Germany has fallen drastically. Globally, 3.3 billion working people worldwide are aged 15 and above.

Increasing Demand for Convenience Food to Boost Market

The processed food industry is primarily driven by the convenience offered by packaged edible products, which attract consumers from every age group. Consumer preference for convenience food and RTE foods has created a rapid change in the global market. This type of ood require less effort and less time as compared to cooked items, which is the main factor driving the demand for frozen food products. Increasing disposable incomes of consumers is another important reason for the market to flourish in the upcoming years.

According to the World Bank, it is estimated that 2/3rd of the world population is expected to live in urban areas. Almost & billion of the world population will live in urban places. Therefore, the increasing population and hectic lifestyle would fuel the adoption of Frozen type of Food.


Rising Consumer Preference for Natural and Fresh Foods to Restrain Growth of Frozen Food

Frozen Food are considered as an inferior substitute to fresh foods among certain consumers, which is the major drawback in this market. There is a myth among consumers that edible stored for more than a year loses its nutrition content. However, these myths were dispelled by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and IFIC (International Food Information Council). Frozen food products can be as good as fresh and natural products. However, consumers in the lower-income group tend to prefer fresh food as they are more concerned about the freshness of the product. As fresh vegetables and fruits are preferred more over the frozen products, this factor may restrain the growth of the market during the forecast period.


By Type Analysis

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Frozen Seafood and Meat Products Hold Major Share in Market

The type segment includes frozen ready meals, frozen seafood & meat products, frozen snacks & bakery products, and others.

Among these, the frozen seafood & meat segment is expected to hold the major share in the market. This is owing to the extended shelf-life and nutrition content of frozen nonveg products and seafood products. The demand created by developed countries such as Germany, the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, and developing countries of Asia Pacific and Africa for these products is driving the growth of this segment and is attributed to hold the largest frozen food market share. Changes in lifestyle and the busy schedules of people are driving this segment. In other segments, the frozen vegetable & fruit sub-segment is one of the largest product categories. Mushrooms are becoming popular among the vegetable category owing to their various functional properties. They are found in 8 out of 10 products on a menu and are one of the most commonly used ingredients in pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches.

An increase in the consumption of french fries and other fast food products such as burgers, pizzas, and wedges is expected to play a significant role in the frozen snacks segment. The frozen meal segment is estimated to grow at a significant CAGR owing to the availability and presence of frozen meal products in developing countries. Improved palates and increased disposable incomes are the driving factors for this segment.

Frozen baked goods have been attracting more consumers in recent years owing to their taste and freshness. Frozen bread is expected to gain more traction among the other categories in this segment. These baked products consume less time for preparation and do not require thawing. In the upcoming years, this segment is expected to grow at a significant CAGR.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Variety of Product Availability to Promote Supermarket/Hypermarket Sales

The distribution channel segment includes supermarkets/hypermarkets, specialty stores, convenience stores, and online retail.

The supermarket/ hypermarket industry is evolving rapidly and changing the face of retailing industry. Buyers' comfort is the major idea behind the supermarket/hypermarket stores and to capitalize this idea manufacturers are also taking efforts to showcase their products in these stores. As the supermarkets are growing in developing countries, their presence can be seen spreading in tier 2 and tier 3 cities which makes products available in smaller towns. This factor is proving beneficial for the growth of the market in smaller countries and new markets.


Europe Frozen Food Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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Europe to Dominate Market due to Increasing Consumer Purchasing Power

Europe is expected to dominate the market share owing to the rising vegan population in the region, which is foreseen to drive the sales of frozen veggies. The major growth factors in the region include high consumer purchasing power, economic stability, and change in food preferences. Further, due to hectic lifestyles, the demand for ready-to-eat breakfast products has gained huge popularity. Europe is also one of the most attractive markets in the world, where there is a high growth potential for baked food products and potato products. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 increased the sales of frozen edibles in the initial months, which drastically slumped in the following months.

Asia Pacific registers significant growth in the global market due to consumer adoption of digital retailing platforms. The increasing number of cold chain facilities in various developing countries is also helping regional market growth. Moreover, an increase in the number of refrigeration facilities in retail shops and increasing availability of frozen type of food through online retails are facilitating the market growth in countries such as India, Japan, and China. Urbanization in various Southeast Asian countries is expected to show tremendous growth in the market.

North America is expected to hold the third-largest market share owing to high consumer awareness regarding the benefits of such etables. Various regulations have been imposed by the FDA which minimizes the usage of harmful chemicals such as trans fats. Frozen Food require minimum cooking as these products are already prewashed, precut, and then frozen, making them portable and giving them an extended shelf life. These factors are aiding the growth of the market in the region.

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South America and the Middle East & Africa (MEA) are expected to grow at a moderate CAGR owing to fewer advancements in the packaging of Frozen Food and beverages. This makes edible products less appealing and less convenient. Due to increasing consumer preference towards convenience foods and fast food consumption, the market is expected to display promising potential in the forecast years.


Kraft Heinz Co. to Focus on Filling Demand and Supply Gap

Kraft Heinz, a leading market player, is focused on filling the supply and demand gap caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The company is currently focusing to ensure continuous supply to retail outlets, especially supermarkets/hypermarkets. For instance, in March 2020, the company announced that it is undergoing various seismic changes to fill the demand and supply gap.

Other key players such as McCain Foods, Wawona Frozen Food, ConAgra Foods, Inc., General Mills, Inc., Bellisio Foods, and Nestle S.A. are focusing on new product developments, innovations, and partnerships to strengthen their presence in the market.


  • General Mills Inc. (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • Nestle SA (Vevey, Switzerland)

  • Conagra Brands Inc. (Illinois, U.S.)

  • The Kellogg Company (Michigan, U.S.)

  • Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. DE C.V. (Mexico City, Mexico)

  • Lantmannen Unibake International (Copenhagen, Denmark)

  • The Kraft Heinz Company (Illinois, U.S.)

  • Unilever PLC (London, U.K.)

  • Wawona Frozen Food (California, U.S.)

  • Tyson Foods, Inc. (Arizona, U.S.)


  • June 2021 – Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation acquired the Meats and Meals business of Kerry Consumer Foods in the U.K. and Ireland. This acquisition is expected to strengthen PPC’s portfolio by adding popular brands such as Denny, Richmond, and Fridge Raiders to its brand family. Kerry Meals is a leading ethnic chilled and frozen ready meals business in the United Kingdom, while Kerry Meats is a manufacturer of branded and private label meats, meat snacks, and food-to-go products in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

  • April 2021 – The Frostkrone Food Group acquired Abergavenny Fine Foods Ltd. which is a market leader in the British retail and foodservice sector. Abergavenny Fine Foods Ltd is specialized in finger food and snack combinations in the form of deep-frozen goods or as fresh produce. Its product range now includes finger foods such as Halloumi Fries, Jalapeño Poppers, Mac’n’Cheese Croquettes, Jaffa Cake Bites as well as goat cheese products. The export markets for the company are Australia, Japan, and the U.S.


An Infographic Representation of Frozen Food Market

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The global frozen food market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, types, and leading distribution channels of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation:



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD billion)


By Type

  • Frozen Ready Mealss

  • Frozen Seafood & Meat Products

  • Frozen Snacks & Bakery Products

  • Others

By Distribution Channel

  • Supermarket/Hypermarkets

  • Convenience Stores

  • Specialty Stores

  • Online Retail

By Geography

  • North America (By Type, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

    • Mexico (By Type)

  • Europe (By Type, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • France (By Type)

    • Spain (By Type)

    • U.K. (By Type)

    • Italy (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • Australia (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • South America (By Type, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • Argentina (By Type)

    • Brazil (By Type)

    • Rest of South America (By Type)

  • The Middle East and Africa (By Type, Distribution Channel, and Country)

    • UAE (By Type)

    • South Africa (By Type)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 231.38 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 385.04 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the North American market value stood at USD 83.51 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.9%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).

The frozen seafood & meat products segment is expected to be the leading type segment in this market during the forecast period.

The increasing demand for convenience edible products is the key market driver.

Nestle S.A., Kraft Heinz, and General Mills are the major players in the market.

Europe dominated the market share in 2020.

Rising urbanization is expected to drive the adoption of frozen type of food items globally.

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