Covid-19 increases frozen food segment in India: experts

MUMBAI: The Indian frozen food industry is expected to grow by 17 percent annually during 2020-24, as the pandemic has made people aware of healthy options when buying daily essentials, according to experts.

Even when many sectors face depression, the frozen food sector has been seeing an upward spiral, growing over time as people become health conscious, according to a panel discussion organized by the Council .

Previously, the high cost of processed foods represented a major challenge to the growth of the sector, experts said.

However, an increase in health-conscious and self-aware people in society has completely transformed the face of the industry.

People have begun to prefer quality over higher costs, and merchants are also dealing with the processes involved and monitoring frozen food to the best of their ability.

The Indian frozen food market is expected to grow 17 percent annually in the period through 2024, according to the report by global market research firm IMARC.

Manjunath MS, Advisor Cold-chain Consulting, said that while the sector sees growth potential, supply chain measures if maintained well will see an exponential increase by having the right contingency plan, best loading practices, trained and qualified professionals and transportation management software.

The supply of the cold chain in India was at an incipient stage until now, however, with the change in consumer purchasing patterns and healthy options, it is growing well with each passing day, said Daniel Kaplan, Representative, Treasurer and Member of the World Board, Virginia, the United States.

â € œEncouraging healthy food, the industry must still change. Improved processes and high trade standards will eventually contribute to the country's growth, making India internationally competitive and looking forward to becoming a healthier and more successful nation, he added.

Manjunath said the industry understands its customers' requirements and their need to eat healthy.

Temperature-sensitive products are transported with caution as the supply chain uses different packaging and shipping measures to maintain their freshness and prevent them from losing their nutritional values, he added.