A Blend of Old and New

Ethnic frozen foods have always been sought-after by consumers, as they offer something more than just a product: they offer an experience. As such, manufacturers around the world always try to achieve the perfect balance between innovation and tradition.

The total value of the worldwide ethnic food market was estimated to be USD76.73bn in 2022, according to Future Market Insights, and it is anticipated to increase to USD81.59bn in 2023 and then to USD131.67bn by 2030, demonstrating a CAGR of 7.08% during the duration of the forecast.

Foods that are referred to as ‘ethnic’ are those that derive from the history and culture of a particular ethnic community and make advantage of that group’s familiarity with the local plant and animal sources of ingredients. Over the course of the past several years, there has been a discernible increase in the rate of innovation in the packaged and frozen food industries. In addition, market participants concentrate their efforts on growing their product lines in each region by introducing regional foodstuffs to marketplaces in other countries. 

It is anticipated that the share of the ethnic food market in Europe will demonstrate relatively slower growth in comparison to the rise seen in other industrialized regions. The exponential rise of other ethnic group food categories in Europe is being hampered by the presence of local ethnic group food goods such as Italian, Spanish, French, and Greek products.

On the other hand, consistent growth in demand is anticipated. As a consequence of the fact that there has, for a considerable amount of time, been a significant demand for Italian and Spanish food, the consumption of Mexican cuisine is not rapidly increasing but is experiencing modest and consistent market expansion, according to Fortune Business Insight’s study. The Asia-Pacific region is the most important producer on the international market.

However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturing and export of ethnic foods in the Asia Pacific region in the year 2020 were held up. Producing and exporting food items from ethnic cuisine presented difficulties for China, which is one of the world’s greatest producers of foods from ethnic groups. After the COVID-19 outbreak, a great number of factories around the world were closed. Because of this, manufacturing dropped to its lowest levels ever.

People who formerly enjoyed eating out at restaurants were forced to stop doing so because they feared for their safety after the epidemic. However, because of the increased demand for low-fat and low-calorie food, consumer preferences for healthy food options have shifted as a result of the epidemic. As a result, after the COVID-19 epidemic, there has been an increase in demand for cuisine from different cultures, and as a result, manufacturers have capitalized on this chance to introduce new items to the market.

When frozen foods were first introduced, there were a number of misconceptions and a general lack of clarity regarding the freshness of products that were frozen. But as time has gone on, consumers have become more knowledgeable about the modern technologies that are employed to maintain the quality of frozen foods while they are being shipped over international fleets and delivered to a variety of markets. Because of this growing understanding of the advantages of frozen food products, customers are choosing them at a higher rate than ever before. In addition, producers are releasing new goods within the categories of frozen food, with the goal of enticing customers to their products.

Pizza, ready-to-eat (RTE) noodles, ready-to-eat hot dogs, Chinese food goods, and Japanese cuisine items are some of the products that are consumed the most frequently in this category. Because of recent advancements in cooling and preservation technology, these items, the viability of whose ability to retain their freshness after freezing was once questioned, are now generally recognized in all the world’s marketplaces. In developed places like the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, where there is a high rate of relocation, the customer demand for local Asian and Italian food is consistently expanding. The non-veg segment now holds the largest share of the worldwide market, and it is anticipated that this trend will continue during the projection period.

Nearly every household in Europe, North America, South America, China, and the Middle East has non-vegetarian cuisine as a regular part of their daily diet. They eat relatively few vegetables daily in comparison to the amount of meat and other animal products that they consume. The consumption of meat and other animal products on a global scale is significantly higher than that of vegetables. As such, a significant portion of the market is occupied by ethnic foods that are not vegetarian, according to Fortune Business Insights.

However, as more people become informed about the positive aspects of vegan and vegetarian diets, a growing number of consumers are expressing an interest in switching to vegetarian diets. Because of this feature, it is anticipated that the vegetable market segment would see growth during the duration of the forecast, making it the market segment with the highest rate of growth.

Migration as a Factor of Market Expansion

The World Economic Forum estimates that there are approximately 272 million international migrants, which corresponds to approximately 3.5% of the total population of the world. The inclination of people around the world to find work in other countries has increased in recent years. The forum estimates that the number of persons currently residing in a nation that is not the one in which they were born has increased by a factor of three since the year 1970.

The US are the most popular destination for migrants, but in terms of the percentage of its total population, the United Arab Emirates has the greatest migrant population. All in all, over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of people moving to different nations, which has led to an increase in the demand for local and regional food products. Consumers are spending more money on the cuisine of their own cultural background as a direct result of the growing accessibility of food from other cultures in worldwide markets.

As a result of the fact that people of Asian descent make up the largest group of migrants, the demand for food from Asian cultures is on the rise. Countries such as Japan, China, India, Thailand, and South Korea, amongst others, are responsible for most of the region’s production of a variety of regional and traditional cuisines. As a result, this region is currently in the driver’s seat when it comes to the global production of foods from different ethnic cuisines.

Also, these countries are quickly becoming some of the most important exporters of cuisines from different ethnic groups to the rest of the world. In addition, due to the rapidly expanding number of internet sales channels, the market is currently wide open for customers to purchase their preferred regional food from any region on the planet. These factors have a beneficial impact on the expansion of the market, and Fortune Business Insights anticipates that they will continue to do so throughout the forecast period. In 2020, a significant portion of the market was controlled by Asia Pacific.

This is mostly the result of an increasing number of traditional cuisines in a variety of countries, including those of the United States of America, Italy, Germany, China, Japan, India, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates, incorporating ethnic foods and ingredients. A further factor that contributes to the expansion of the regional ethnic food market is the expanding product demand coming from the foodservice industry.

It is anticipated that the region of North America, which consists of the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico, will enjoy consistent growth because of the growing demand for Asian cuisine such as Thai food, which is induced by the growth in the relocation of Asian consumers in the region. Consumers have been drawn to this area of the food industry due to the increasing popularity of frozen meals and regional food products from smaller nations such as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. It is anticipated that ongoing advances and technological advancements in the process of preserving and freezing foods from ethnic cuisines will be the primary drivers of growth in the market for ethnic cuisine foods in the region.