Exclusive: Anuga Fills the Frozen Food Halls with Innovation


More adventurous consumers, plant-based foods and alternatives to everything were among the top frozen food trends presented during a seminar set up at the largest food trade fair in the world, Anuga 2019, in Cologne, this October 5-9.

By Dan Orehov

The discussion, which was organized at the German Frozen Food Institute (dti) booth and presented by Innova Market Insights focused on the top ten trends surrounding products, consumers and manufacturers alike.

One of the conclusions drawn at the event was that globalization sparks consumers’ curiosity to discover new food and drinks in the frozen universe. For example, 67% of Chinese consumers, but also 66% of Americans and 61% in the UK say that the they actively seek and love to discover new flavors. Since the annual growth of frozen food launches tracked with a “discovery”claim has risen by 18% between 2014 and the present day, manufacturers have started to adapt to this preference. One instance is the launch of Thiriet’s Chinese Chicken and Pineapple with Thai Rice, which was presented on the French market this March and which perfectly fits into the “discovery of new tastes” trend.

Plants and plant-based products have also started to thrive in the frozen food industry, which makes “the plant kingdom” another major trend, as shown by Innova. Since consumers make healthier food choices and the variety of green ingredients within frozen foodstuffs is abundant, products such as President’s Choice – Corn, Carrot and Kale Bites, which launched in Canada three months ago or Green Isle’s Cauliflower Rice from Ireland are starting to become a mainstay in the shoppers’ minds. This is yet another example of how frozen food brands “green-up” their portfolio, in order to attract mainstream consumers who are interested in adding more plant-based options to their diet.

Beyond the health factor and the vegan trend, the alternatives market shows no signs of slowing down, Innova said. This gives birth to the “Alternatives to All” trend in frozen food, which translates into non-dairy based ice cream, vegan pizza, meatless burgers and a plethora of other innovative and surprising products, of which one example is Sainsbury’s Meat-Free Cheddar-Style Kievs, made with soy protein, a coconut-based alternative to cheddar cheese and garlic filling in crispy breadcrumb coatings.

These are but a few of the frozen food trends showcased during Anuga’s five-day exhibition, which this year turned 100 years old and welcomed exhibitors from 106 countries. In our next print edition of Frozen Food Europe, we will include a comprehensive review of all the main trends, innovations and awarded products that were present at Anuga 2019, as well as details on startup ideas and related events organized during the trade show.

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