As the frozen vegetable market continues to grow, Greek companies are attracting considerable buzz, mostly thanks to their focus in innovation and the unique local produce.
Changing consumption patterns and busy schedules, as well as demand for newer flavors and ingredients have contributed to recent rise of the frozen fruit and vegetable market, especially in the developed world. Οn the other hand, in the developing world, the expansion of the middle classes and rising incomes have also led to the increased demand for products within this segment. According to estimates, the global frozen fruits and vegetable market is expected grow at an annual rate of 5.34% and reach 751 million tons by 2027 with developing markets like India and China showing as much potential as the developed markets like Europe (the largest consumers of frozen fruit and vegetables are Italy, Germany and France, accounting together for more than half of total European consumption) and the United States.
The demand for frozen vegetables, such as spinach and legumes will see substantial growth due to the rise in demand for ready-to-eat foods. However, several reports point out that the growth percentage of frozen fruits and vegetables is still much lower than the overall market consumption of these product categories. While convenience is the buzzword of the day, other key factors are also expected to affect the overall frozen vegetable market, such as rising awareness for healthy foods, clean eating, environmental sustainability of organic products, innovative packaging and storage methods.
Greek Frozen Vegetables: excellent export potential
Belgium is the largest producing, exporting and re-exporting country for frozen vegetables in Europe, accounting for 45% of total European exports in 2020. Nonetheless, Greek exports in the sector are continuously on the rise.
For the time being, the structure of the production of the main frozen vegetables in Greece is not changing much, and it is predicted that the situation will remain stable in the following years. This means that Greek exporting companies will remain strong competitors in the international markets.
The development of new technologies related to freezing temperatures, and the preservation of natural ingredients have also helped create fresher and more nutritious products in the frozen food sector. Greek companies in the frozen vegetable sector have already started to step up their game to build customer trust and dispel the negative image consumers may sometimes have towards frozen food –especially in a country such as Greece, where needs of the Greek market have pushed sales together with innovation.
Greek frozen vegetables have excellent export potential and are particularly popular in international markets. Undoubtedly, modern lifestyle with its intense, demanding rhythms, as well as improved consumers’ preference towards convenience foods are critical factors in the further expansion of Greek frozen vegetable exports. However, it is the top-tier quality of Greek products (and especially the freshness and flavor of the land’s vegetables) that will, in the end, define their longevity in international markets, and make them stand out among the competition.
The Frozen Vegetables Statistics
- Revenue in the Processed & Frozen Vegetables market amounted to US$0.50bn in 2023. The market is expected to grow annually by 2.66% (CAGR 2023-2028).
- In global comparison, most revenue is generated in China (US$52,220m in 2023).
- In relation to total population figures, per person revenues of US$48.97 were generated in 2023.
- In the Processed & Frozen Vegetables market, volume is expected to amount to 115.90m kg by 2028. The Processed & Frozen Vegetables market is expected to show a volume growth of 0.7% in 2024.
- The average volume per person in the Processed & Frozen Vegetables market amounted to 10.8kg in 2023.
5 Reasons to love Greek frozen vegetables
Freezing can slightly alter the nutritional composition of fruits and vegetables, but the truth is some of the healthiest foods in the market are in the freezer section.
Picked at their peak | The minute a vegetable is picked, it begins to lose nutrients, so exactly when it is plucked and how long after harvesting it is consumed impacts its nutritional value. Because most frozen vegetables are frozen shortly after they’re harvested, they’re allowed to fully ripen, which means they’re full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and freezing “locks in” many of their nutrients.
As nutritious as fresh | Though vitamins can degrade in fresh vegetables over time, many nutrients in foods are much hardier. In general, the differences in nutrient levels between fresh and frozen are so minor that they would be unlikely to have an impact on overall health, and dietitians generally encourage people to eat as many fruits and vegetables as they can, in whatever form they enjoy.
Exceptional Flavor | Due to the country’s unique climate and rich soil conditions, Greek vegetables show remarkable quality standards that affect their flavor and aroma. Vegetables produced in the fertile Greek land are of top-tier quality, while their nutritional value is well-known. And Greek frozen vegetables retain all their best characteristics intact.
Additive and GMO Free |Because freezing preserves food, no unwanted additives are needed in frozen produce. In addition, “naked” produce (e.g. with no added salt or sugar) is the norm, so it is easy to find vegetables with single word ingredient lists. Greece is also a GMO-free zone in the EU, meaning that its local produce is not genetically modified.
Always in season | Some people opt to stock up on seasonal produce, when they are fresh and in season, to freeze for later use. But the grocer’s freezer serves the same purpose. Fruits such as strawberries are at their very peak in the summertime, but one can find them year-round in the freezer aisle. Spinach and peas are also highly seasonal vegetables that are easily freezable.