Consumption of frozen food has changed the food intake habit of consumers and the increasing penetration of non-veg frozen is providing an upward thrust in the market growth.
The consumer preference for frozen non-vegetarian items is rising due to the hygiene issues associated with the products available in the market. In the market, there has been a presence of a variety of nutrient-rich frozen non-veg foods, which is gaining consumer’s attention. At present, the product offerings in the market, from brands such as McCain, Yummiez, Quick Treat, and Venky's, Innovative Foods Limited, etc. include products like cold cuts, meatballs, hot dogs, sausages, kebabs, fish fingers, golden breaded fish fillets, etc. With the establishment of modern hazard analysis & critical control point, certified processing plants, etc many processed chicken brands are becoming popular in urban India. These plants provide a systematic preventive approach for food safety from biological, chemical, physical, and radiological hazards. Acceptance of meat & seafood products from the local vendors is higher than that of frozen ones. People prefer the products from the local vendors, which are cheap in price and let them get more in quantity. It has been observed that the products obtained from local vendors cannot be stored for a longer period and the nutrients are depleted if not consumed immediately. Whereas the frozen meat, poultry & seafood products are packed and undergo advanced freezing techniques to keep the products fresh, & thus can be stored for a longer duration. These products have been slowly and gradually increasing their consumer base by making it available in the retail segment. Growth in the retail segment is being encouraged by new approaches from poultry integrators, including establishing integrator-owned or franchised frozen poultry shops, opening sales counters in existing food shops.
The non-veg frozen food segment of India includes two main category namely frozen meat & poultry products and frozen seafood products. According to the report “India Frozen Food Market Overview, 2022-2028” published by Bonafide Research the consumption of frozen seafood and meat products is still at the growing stage in the overall frozen food market. Instead of occupying a minor segment of the market, developing a distribution network through retail selling and increasing preference for fresh and frozen foods is catering to the growth of frozen meat and seafood products. In the year 2021-22, both of these segments have generated combine revenue of over INR 1900 Crore. This revenue generation has been the result of higher consumption in the form of convenience and on the go food provided by the commercial sector. Hotel chains, restaurants, QSR’s, etc. are included in the commercial sector of the market. These sectors acquire the products in bulk quantity to cater to a large number of consumers. The commercial segment is generating revenue of more than 65% each from the frozen meat & poultry and seafood products.
In recent years, the companies have started to upgrade their distribution network as the individual and convenience stores are getting equipped with freezing technologies. This development in the distribution network has led to attracting a large consumer base in the residential segment of the market, which has been growing at a comparatively faster rate. The average selling price of frozen meat & poultry products is observed to be around INR 50/ 100 gm whereas for the frozen seafood products, it is around INR 95.5/ 100 gm. High-value price of the frozen seafood products is providing an upper hand in its revenue generation against the frozen meat and poultry products. The seafood companies have extended their operation towards retail sales and many of the local, small or medium-sized seafood suppliers have turned towards the online mode of distribution network. Some of the prominent companies present in this non-veg frozen food segment of the market are ITC group, Sumeru frozen foods, Gadre marine company, Venky’s, Al Kabeer, Meatzza, etc.
Globally, India is among the fastest growing processed meat and poultry products market. In the last couple of years, the Indian meat industry has posed tremendous development and greater scope of improvement with the increasing support from the industrialists and the government. Developing technological infrastructure like individual quick freezing has been providing major push in the growth of frozen meat & poultry and seafood products in the Indian market.