The market is being driven by customers’ increased use of frozen foodstuffs
Freezing helps preserve food quality and improves the shelf life of foods with high water content. The freezing process takes advantage of low temperatures, which prevent microbes from growing, limit chemical reactions, and postpone biological metabolic responses. Frozen food offers non-seasonal year-round availability, reduces wastage, is less perishable than fresh or chilled food, and is easier to use. These factors will continue to drive the expansion of the individual quick freezing (IQF) industry in the foreseeable future. In 2019, consumers spent an average of 11.48 dollars per consumer unit on frozen seafood and 7.16 dollars on frozen pizza in the United States. There has been a lot of innovation in freezing technologies in recent years, such as the advent of IQF technology for IQF fruits. Cold storage and IQF freezing are the two main types of freezing procedures. IQF fruit freezing is used for small food goods such as berries, fruits, vegetables, and so on, whereas cold store freezing is used for large volumes of products such as whole chickens, beef, etc. It takes a long time for the product to be completely frozen in a cold store.
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Additionally, the individual fast freezing (IQF) sector is being propelled by rising consumer demand for ready-to-eat meals worldwide. The increased availability of non-seasonal food commodities is projected to impact the industry significantly. Furthermore, the growth and expansion of retail food chains in advanced countries are expected to impact the individual fast freezing (IQF) market substantially. Increased government attempts to reduce food waste are expected to open up more opportunities for industry operators. Furthermore, environmental concerns about greenhouse gas emissions are among the issues limiting global individual fast freezing market expansion. Individual fast freezing equipment contributes directly to greenhouse gas emissions by releasing hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere.
Spiral freezer is the dominating segment in global individual quick-freezing market
The spiral freezer category accounts for a large part of the market in terms of equipment type. Spiral freezers are perfect for freezing a wide range of foods, including frozen pizzas, baked products, and ready-made meals, since they keep the product’s quality, texture, and flavor throughout the freezing process. Because of their compact and streamlined appearance, spiral freezers are popular among food processors. Other benefits of this segment include ease of cleaning and low installation complexity. Spiral freezers and chillers from GEA company handle products at speeds of up to 7 tonnes per hour discreetly. They maximize heat transfer and optimize product quality and yield by using high-efficiency airflow and evaporators. Due to an increase in consumer demand for convenience foods and perishable food goods, the consumption of frozen cheese has surged, propelling the growth of IQF spiral freezers.
In global market, frozen fruits and vegetables are the most popular processed fruits and vegetables. The product is simple to use and is available all year, including during the off-season. They are also always accessible at a consistent cost. As a result of the income gains of economic liberalization policies, demand for IQF fruits and vegetables is increasing rapidly. Both the domestic and international markets for frozen fruits and vegetables are expanding. The expansion of the fast-food industry provides excellent prospects for IQF operators to enter into supply agreements with restaurant chains, hotels and airlines, catering companies, and other enterprises. Consumers’ growing awareness of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables and their changing lifestyles are expected to fuel the expansion of the IQF fruits and vegetable market.
North-America is the fastest growing segment during the forecast period.
Large IQF manufacturers in the United States and Canada drive the individual quick-freezing market in North America. The region’s market expansion has been fueled by the rising food and beverage industry and increased consumption of ready-to-eat items. Growing demand for flavored fruits and dairy products and increasing efforts to integrate spiral freezers with process and refrigeration control systems to ensure food preservation are likely to move the market forward. Because of the existence of big players such as JBT (US), Air Products and Chemicals (US), and Cryogenic Systems Equipment, the nations covered in the North American area are expected to be the fastest-growing markets for individual quick freezing (US). The individual quick freezing (IQF) market in North America is expected to grow over the next few years due to economic factors such as an increase in fixed investments in various food processing technologies by various individual quick freezing equipment manufacturers and exposure to consumer preference for new taste and flavor.
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The global individual quick-freezing market is highly fragmented with large number of companies introducing new product lineups. The individual quick-freezing market is dominated by key players such as JBT, GEA, The Linde Group, Air Products and Chemicals, Air Liquide and Messer Group among others. Product launches, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the individual quick-freezing market. The new Freshline EAF tunnel freezer, the latest addition to Air Products’ Fresh line solutions offering, has been unveiled. This revolutionary freezer may be used for a variety of food processing applications, including normal freezing, crust freezing, IQF (Individual Quick Freezing) freezing, and chilling. In May 2019, JBT Corporation, an American-based Food Processing Machinery Company has announced its acquisition with Proseal which is a UK-based tray sealing technology solutions provider.
Positive impact on the global individual quick-freezing market
Individual quick-freezing market has expanded during COVID-19 due to growing demand for frozen items. In the United States, demand for frozen meals skyrocketed, with 70% of customers increasing their frozen food purchases during the 2020 shutdown. According to a poll conducted by the American Frozen Food Institute, many new consumers who had never purchased frozen foods before the epidemic did so now. Vegetables, pizza, and meat were the most frequently purchased frozen food categories.
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