The advent of innovative frozen food products in the Indian market has enhanced consumer's attraction towards pre-prepared foods. India has always been a country where people give a serious preference to food consumption based on the taste and variety of dishes. Since ages, cooking a complete meal and eating it together has been a tradition in Indian families. With the time, people started moving out of the joint families and started staying alone or in nuclear families. This has catered to bringing change in the food consumption tradition among the people. People have started to develop a habit of consuming healthy and nutritious food. The change in consumption habits has been more benefitted with the emergence of frozen food products and its awareness among the consumers. In recent years, the Indian frozen food industry has observed continuous development in its products.
The industry, which started by offering basic frozen vegetables and fries, today offers a wide range of products, from fruits & vegetables to frozen meats and snacking to full meal options. Nowadays, people are more attracted to fresh frozen food keeping in view the concerns related to health. The quality of frozen foods has increased with the development of freezing technologies over the years. Entry and expansion of international food chains like McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Dominos, KFC, and many more have created a distribution platform to frozen food players. These players rely heavily on the supply of products in the semi-processed frozen form, which is consistent in terms of taste and offers a fresh value to consumers.
The frozen food market of India is divided into four major segments viz. frozen snacks & ready meals, frozen vegetables, frozen meat & poultry, frozen seafood. According to the report "India Frozen Food Market, By Value, By Volume, By Product Type (Frozen Vegetable, Frozen Snacks & Ready Meal, Frozen Meat & Poultry, Frozen Seafood), By End User (Residential & Commercial), By Sales Channel (Modern Trade, Retail & Specialized Stores, Online), (Trends & Forecast), Outlook, 2025" published by Bonafide Research, a shift in consumption habit of consumer towards fresh and healthy food have provided a boost to the frozen food consumption. In terms of volume consumption, the market has grown with a CAGR of above 19% till the year 2018-19. Frozen vegetables, snacks & ready meal products are occupying a large section of the market. Usually, people in India give more preference to home-cooked snacks like vadapav, fried potato chips, bhajiyas, and many more. Moreover, the QSR chain opted for food products like french fries, burgers, etc. who prominently make the utilization of frozen food products. Currently, the companies are focusing on bringing innovations into this frozen category and with no added preservatives and develop its residential reach. The companies introduce various frozen snacks like alootikki, chicken nuggets, potato fries, kebabs, samosa, etc. Along with this, the options for ready meals including complete veg & non-veg meals, frozen biryani, parotha, etc. have been a pick of food products for the consumers.
On contrary to frozen snacks & ready meal products, frozen vegetables have registered the fastest revenue growth. Products like frozen green peas, mixed vegetables, corn, cauliflower, etc. are included in the segment. In this segment, frozen peas have the highest availability through small retail stores as well as in modern retail stores. Whereas frozen mixed vegetables have produced the fastest growth in consumption as well as in revenue generation. Consumers have found frozen vegetables as a healthier option with a high amount of carbohydrates and fibers than that are present in the regular vegetable. Manufacturers present in the segment are making the products with dietary requirements experienced by the change in consumption of consumers. Constantly change in consumer consumption patterns and increasing demand from the residential segment of the market will drive its growth in forecasted years. The forecasted growth of frozen vegetable products is expected to be above 26% CAGR till the year 2024-25.
The frozen food market has been highly benefitted with the advent of digitization in the retail industry. Currently, frozen food retailers have been slow in shifting towards online retailing, which lowers the opportunity of covering, and reaching consumers. Whereas many have to start to shake up the frozen food, industry with outstanding e-commerce sites that, attract and convert online shoppers. The frozen food market’s latest trend that driving the demand is online grocery shopping and the introduction of a new application that helps the consumer and makes it convenient to pick products according to their preference. The market is dominated by a major brand and some regional players, some of the active company in frozen food segment in India are McCain foods, Venky’s, Mother Dairy, Godrej Tyson Ltd., and Innovation Foods.