35 Years of Frozen Food Europe

Yes, you read that right: Frozen Food Europe turns 35 this year, and we’re glad to have been able to reflect on all the success that the industry has experienced during these last decades.

In the past 35 years, frozen food consumption has undergone significant changes in Europe and worldwide. Initially, frozen food was limited to vegetables and fruits, but now there is a wider range of frozen products available, including entire meals – from appetizers to desserts.

This diversification is evident in the expanding selection of frozen ready-to-eat meals, pizzas, and gourmet options, providing consumers with a convenient alternative to traditional cooking. In recent years, frozen food has become a viable and sometimes preferred option due to improved freezing technologies and rigorous quality standards, eliminating the perception that it is a compromise on quality.

For instance, in Germany, one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic markets, the per capita consumption of frozen food increased from 39.3 kilograms per year to 44.8 kilograms between 2009 and 2020. Advancements in freezing technology have played a crucial role in this evolution, ensuring that frozen foods retain their nutritional value and quality. The introduction of quick-freezing techniques, such as cryogenic freezing, has helped preserve the texture and flavor of food, addressing concerns about potential degradation during the freezing process.

The European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST) recognizes how these technological advancements have contributed to the growth of the frozen food sector by improving the overall consumer experience. The global trend towards sustainability and food waste reduction has also influenced the evolution of frozen food consumption. The ability to store food for longer periods in a frozen state has become a strategic tool in minimizing food spoilage. The European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan acknowledges the role of frozen food in reducing food waste by extending the shelf life of perishable items.

Looking forward, we expect frozen food to come even closer to consumers as trends such as plant-based or free-from become standards of the industry.

So, here’s to many more years and many more issues dedicated to the success of the industry!