The global cold chain market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% between now and 2017, according to a recent report from Markets and Markets. Although much of that growth is attributed to the mature markets of the US and Germany, a major shift in consumer trends is beginning in emerging markets.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to constitute 22% of the frozen food market by 2017 if it grows at the projected CAGR of 17%. In comparison, North American market growth is projected at 13.2% while European market growth is projected at 12 percent. The growth of the Asia-Pacific frozen food market signals two things: that food preferences are changing as consumers become more affluent, and that the infrastructure to support cold chain operations in that region is expanding.
In China, for example, the frozen food market grew from nearly $10 billion in 2007 to an estimated $16 billion in 2012. China represents the second largest frozen food market in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report from the Maine International Trade Center. In Vietnam, an earlier report by DataMonitor indicates the frozen food market is increasing at a CAGR identical to that of Asia overall. It is dominated by frozen meats, which claim 95 percent of the market.
The strong interest in frozen foods in Asia spells opportunities for frozen and refrigerated food distributors in the US and throughout the world.
Using new cold chain packaging and monitoring technology, shipping temperature-sensitive foods – even to emerging markets – has become safe and profitable. Retailers and consumers eager to try new product, increase convenience or improve the safety and quality of their own food supplies can turn to frozen foods from with the assurance that the frozen foods they choose have maintained safe temperatures throughout transit.