The freeze-dried food market was projected to reach a CAGR of 8.03% during the forecast period, 2021-2026.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for non-perishable food products, especially freeze-dried food that can last up to 30 years without degrading in quality, including meat products or their alternatives, vegetable, fruits, and prepared meals, witnessed a huge surge in the consumer demand. It is mainly driven by the stock piling nature of the consumer during the pandemic, caused by extended lockdowns, and in most cases, even the consumers avoided stepping outside in the public areas in order to safeguard themselves. Furthermore, increasing product knowledge across regions, due to the constant presence of freeze-dried products in the local market, is also enabling more consumers to purchase the products during the pandemic.
The expanding food-processing sector and huge demand for ready-to-eat or convenience food products among consumers have considerably increased in recent years, owing to the busy work lifestyle and the increased number of the working population. This, in turn, has led to an increase in the demand for freeze-dried fruits and vegetables to be used in snacks, soups, dressings, and bakery and confectionery products.? Moreover, the increasing consumer awareness about the ill effects of artificial food additives used for food preservation is fueling the demand for natural and healthy food products. ?
Additionally, the key drivers augmenting the market are the suitability of the freeze-drying technique for heat-sensitive food products, rise in freeze-dried pet food products, and incorporation of freeze-drying techniques in several food products for longer preservation and convenient consumption.?
Key Market Trends
Targeted Freeze-dried Food Products to Fuel the Industry Revenue
The demand for freeze-dried food products is highly prevalent in a few of the categories, such as bakery products, cereal products, fruits snacks, and vegetable snacks, among others. In the bakery industry, freeze-dried fruits are used in whipped creams and frosting. Freeze-dried fruits are also being widely used in dessert decoration and give color and flavor to the finished products. ?
Healthy snacking is a growing trend. Consumers are continuously focusing on their health and looking for food products, which are vegan, gluten-free, and all-natural, pushing manufacturers across the world toward freeze-dried snacks on the retail shelves. For example, Berry Golden offers a freeze-dried snack (Golden Berry Bites), which is a lightweight, nutritious snack with no-added-sugar and preservatives and is packaged with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, B1, and B3. The berries are also fat-free, have a large amount of fiber, and are greatly enjoyed by children, as well as adults. ?
Asia-Pacific is the Fastest Growing Region for Freeze-dried Food Products
The freeze-dried food market in Asia-Pacific is experiencing rapid expansion due to the increasing consumption of processed food and rising preference for ready-to-eat meals, owing to the rising trend of on-the-go lifestyles of consumers. Such factors make Asia a potential market for freeze-dried foods, and thus, manufacturers are exploring this trend to attract young Asian consumers. Chinese consumers’ interest in healthy and innovative products formulated with Chinese ingredients, which fit in their busy lifestyles, provides a great platform for foreign retail manufacturers to expand their businesses in the country. For instance, in 2019, ALDI is an international retail giant, opened two new physical stores in Shanghai’s Jing’an and Minhang districts. The stores offer a variety of products, including freeze-dried fruit snacks.
The global freeze-dried food market is fragmented and highly competitive owing to the presence of multiple regional and multinational companies offering a wide range of freeze-dried products, and trying to maintain their leadership position in the market studied.
Major players in the market include Nestle SA, European Freeze Dry, Ajinomoto Co. Inc., Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, and Harmony House Foods Inc., holding a significant share of the market studied and embarking on business strategies including product innovations, partnerships, strengthening their hold over online and offline marketing, and mergers & acquisitions to expand their visibility and portfolio of offerings, thus, augmenting the growth of the market.
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