Frozen foods have a high convenience quotient attached to them – a reason for the continual adoption of these foods, largely in areas that are heading towards urbanization. Across the world, with nuclear family set-ups and both the partners working becoming a standard structure, it has necessitated household work to be outsourced or minimized as much as possible. Food preparation requires substantial time and effort; thus, alternatives are sought to carry out this essential domestic activity. Frozen foods that meet the taste and nutrition requirement largely befit the purpose.

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Besides, frozen foods are viewed as on-the-go meals by college students, young professionals, and hurried parents alike.

Cultural Food Choices Hinder Acceptance of Frozen Foods across Societies

Frozen foods were developed by people living in frigid zones centuries ago. However, Clarence Birdseye is credited for developing the quick-freezing method that brought modern frozen food to the retail sector for the first time in 1924. Ever-since, products such as Stouffer’s lasagna, Ore-Ida French fries, and Marie Callender’s chicken pot pies are common in the frozen food section of large superstores in the U.S.

The industrial revolution is credited for bringing a large number women in the workforce. Prior to this, household work was relegated to women, who were not considered suitable for heavy labor jobs. However, this event did not bring a turnaround change in living practices and food habits, of which fresh home cooked meals constituted an important part.

In present times, women form a sizeable part of the global workforce, but cultural norms remain the same across many societies. For this reason, the use of frozen food on a regular basis does not match the cultural food choices in some regions, especially if fresh ingredients are available year-round. The U.S. exhibits an exceptional picture for the consumption of frozen foods. According to the statistics of the U.S Department of Labor, in 2013, with 127.1 million working women in the U.S. that requires long hours spent away from home, the sales of frozen prepared foods amount over US$4 bn every year in the country. On the contrary, in many parts of the world these foods are used only occasionally.

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Frozen Ready Meals Favored due to Economic and Climatic Reasons

Frozen ready meals, frozen meat products, frozen potato products, frozen fish/seafood, frozen pizza, and frozen bakery products are the major products of the frozen food market. Depending on climatic, economic, and cultural reasons, the consumption of these products varies from region to region. For these reasons, frozen ready meals were ahead of all other products in terms of market share in 2013. Region-wise, Europe stands as the largest market for these foods. Displaying a consistently increasing demand, the frozen foods market in Europe expanded at 2.8% CAGR between 2010 and 2013 to be valued at US$44.68 bn at the end of 2013. Asia Pacific will emerge as a large market for frozen foods in the coming years, and westernization and increasing purchasing power are the key reasons for this.