Anuga Frozen Food: international meeting point of the frozen food sector

Cologne / DE. (km) The international frozen food sector is once again this year using Anuga Frozen Food as a central meeting point. In Halls 4.1 and 4.2, around 500 exhibitors will be presenting the wide spectrum of products and services of the frozen food segment to both the trade and food service sectors. The leading exhibitors of Anuga Frozen Food include, for example, Agrarfrost, Almondy, Ardo, Aviko, Brasil Foods, Crop’s, Gunnar Dafgard, Erlenbacher, Farm Frites, Lamb Weston, Miratorg, Pickenpack, Roncadin Salomon Foodword, Surgital and Wernsing.

In addition, joint participations from countries like Egypt, Belgium, China, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain will be demonstrating their competence in frozen foods with their respective focuses: From fish and meat, through to fruit and vegetables, from ready-made meals through to bulk packs for buyers from the communal catering and food service sectors. Whereas the trend in the retail sector is towards small packets and ready-made meals, the hosts from the food service sector are relying more and more on pre-portioned and ready-prepared components. Around 6,800 exhibitors from approx. 100 countries are expected to participate at Anuga from 10. to 14. Oktober 2015 in Cologne.

The 06 March 1935 marked the birth of frozen food, when the first deep freezer was exhibited in a retail shop in Springfield in the US state of Massachusetts. As such, a new way of preserving food – and the biggest innovation – was born: shock freezing. To this very day, there is no more gentle method of conservation and what’s more without the addition of preservatives. Vegetables, fruit and fish were the first frozen foodstuffs available for purchase. The subsequent worldwide success story of frozen products was without doubt the reason why the American President, Ronald Reagan, initiated the “Frozen Food Day” for the first time in the year 1984, which has been celebrated annually on 06 March ever since.

In Germany, frozen food celebrated an attention-grabbing premiere at Anuga in Cologne in the year 1955: Six domestic frozen food pioneers presented their products in household-sized packaging for the first time. They could have hardly found a better platform as the global food trade fair. Because thereafter the demand for frozen products increased in Germany once the technical equipment was available in the households. In the year 1970, the per capita consumption of frozen food had already reached ten kilogrammes a year.

The Germans’ desire for the cold food offer has been unabated ever since. According to a current survey, 90 percent of the Germans are of the opinion that frozen products have made the storage of food supplies simpler and cooking easier. In total, the turnover with frozen products rose up to around 12.8 billion EUR in 2014 and had thus increased by three percent compared to 12.4 billion EUR in the previous year. Today, the German trade offers the consumer over 17’000 frozen items in its deep freezers nationwide. The per capita consumption in Germany is over 42 kilogrammes.

Frozen food has enormous potential worldwide. However, not every region has the same growth opportunities. Whereas the US Americans remain to be the undisputed world champions in the consumption of frozen food with an annual per capita consumption of 52 kilogrammes, whereby this figure has been stagnant for years, the companies within the industry see good development opportunities above all in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Special products for consumers with specific food intolerances or allergies also offer market opportunities. According to a survey by the German Coeliac Association (DZG) in collaboration with the Swedish frozen bakery Almondy, it is no problem for people suffering from the coeliac disease to purchase gluten-free sweets in retail outlets. However, they would like a bigger selection, especially of bakery products.

Bakery products are the commodity of the frozen food industry that makes the most turnover. With an upward trend. Frozen bakery products are especially the absolute hit on the away-from-home market. Rolls, but also cakes and tarts are still very high in demand. The growing demand in the breakfast business and the trend towards in-between meals (snacking) boost this commodity. One of the most popular frozen commodities is still frozen pizza. Frozen pizza also recorded a strong growth on the away-from-home market last year, where it is nevertheless still not very established, as the low sales volumes show.

The triumphant march of frozen food is continuing to be dynamic on the away-from-home market. The turnover was increased by four percent up to around 1.67 million tonnes. Whether in the catering or classic food service sector, in the travel and leisure time food service or catering for schools, old peoples’ homes and hospitals, frozen food is an indispensable, fixed element in professional kitchens.

In the food retail trade, a slight growth was recorded for ready-to-serve meals, which primarily derives from the partial dishes. The complete meals and stews on the other hand experienced slight losses. The trend is moving away from cooking oneself towards solutions that enable a quick, uncomplicated, flexible and healthy diet. The line-up of frozen products thus becomes increasingly more diversified. Smaller packets are demanded, which is a result of the demographic change towards more one and two-person households.

The theme of sustainability is also not going to be neglected. Think about tomorrow today – this is for example the motto of the Vion subsidiary, Salomon Foodworld, and also applies to the cultivation phase. Sustainable products create positive image effects and new guests.

The Styria beef from alpine natural beef is in connection with a project on the preservation of a unique cultural landscape for instance. In the scope of an extraordinary «green preservation programme», the animals were extensively settled in alpine regions, which were threatening to go wild. This enables ideal living conditions for the cattle and the preservation of the mountain landscape for future generations.

In the case of fish, Salomon Foodworld places great value on the selection of the suppliers. For example, all of the ingredients for fish sticks originate from the «Pure Pangasius» programme, for which an own association was founded in Vietnam that vouches for sustainable aqua farming.

Furthermore, hardly any frozen food producer gets by without a certification for frozen fish from sustainable fishing nowadays. Traceability and transparency have in the meantime become a decisive purchasing factor for many consumers. The MSC label for example is a globally recognised labelling for sustainable wild caught fish. Exclusively businesses, which guarantee sustainable fishing and protect the marine habitat in its diversity, are awarded this label.

Innova Market Insights will furthermore present detailed analyses on current themes from the food industry in the scope of the «Anuga Trend Zone» special event. An accompanying series of lectures presents the current consumer trends and gives insights into the areas packaging, technology and flavour-determining product features. This will be illustrated by more than 200 innovative products and packaging ideas from around the globe (Passage Hall 3/11, daily).

Anuga 2015 is exclusively open to trade visitors from the retail and food service sectors from 10 to 14 October, on all days from 10:00 to 18:00 (Image: Koelnmesse).