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Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality can be managed by farmsoft including inventory, quality control, processing, IQF, and sales & shipping.

Frozen fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

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Frozen fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality can be managed by farmsoft including inventory, quality control, processing, IQF, and sales & shipping.

New Zealand exports, May 2020 - World Potato Market

Calls for action to stop low-priced frozen fry imports

The New Zealand potato industry has joined its Australian counterpart in requesting that its government impose short-term measures to prevent the import of discounted frozen potato products into the country.

Like other countries, New Zealand’s fry and other product demand has been hit hard by the closure of restaurants and the tourist industry within the country. Around 85% of NZ’s domestic demand for potatoes is supplied from the country and it exports around 75 000 tonnes of frozen product a year worth NZ$100 million, mainly to Australia and Asian Pacific markets.

Industry body Potatoes NZ fears that the surplus of potatoes in Europe and North America will lead to shippers in those countries sending products to markets such as Australia at very low prices, compounding the domestic over-supply. In a statement it said:

“Globally, the disruption of supply chains, and particularly sales to hospitality, has led to the complete collapse of potato prices in major production centres, in particular the European Union. This will shortly lead to extraordinary price reductions in frozen potato chips [fries] from the EU. It’s expected that a similar collapse will be seen in other parts of the northern hemisphere, in particular in North America. The EU currently has approximately 2.6 million tonnes surplus frozen fries.”

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

“If urgent steps are not put in place to prevent it, New Zealand is likely to be swamped by imports of frozen potato chips at those extraordinary prices. That, together with the existing impact of the current pandemic will in turn cause the New Zealand potato-growing and potato-processing industries to suffer severe and prolonged damage.”

“This may lead to potato growers planting alternate crops and in turn lead to a shortage of New Zealand grown potatoes, which given New Zealand’s reliance on potatoes as a source of food, will represent a serious risks to food security.”

Source: potatoesnz.co.nz

Peruvian Agroindustrias AIB supplies fruit to five continents

"Frozen mango sometimes tastes better than fresh"

Grapes, avocados, asparagus, citrus and pomegranates are well-known products from Peru. Roberto Falcone, general manager of Agroindustrias AIB, explains that these are the most important products of the company. “We export our products to five continents. Our most important buyers are America and Latin America, which are good for 45 per cent of sales, followed by Europe and the UK with a share of approximately 30 to 40 per cent. Other continents follow: Africa, Australia and Asia.”



Four pillars

The Peruvian company was founded in 1987, and focuses on four pillars: Fresh, Frozen, Canned Products and Juices & Food Ingredients. “We have an area of 3,000 hectares in various parts of Peru, in the regions Chincha, Ica, Chiclayo and Sullana. Annually, we produce and trade about 70,000 tonnes of product. We also own the company AJJ, which is solely focused on grapes.”





Balance
Roberto indicates that they are one of the largest fruit and vegetable suppliers of Peru. “What sets us apart is that we supply our products in all kinds of forms: from fresh to frozen. Diversification is also a large advantage, because there is always a segment that does less well or very well annually. That is how we keep a good balance. In Europe, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany are important buyers. The UK is also a large buyer. It is remarkable that the Netherlands have so much demand for passion fruit juice and mango juice.”



Frozen mango
In the coming years, Agroindustrias AIB expects to grow in all segments. “We think it is important to continue to serve all pillars. Fresh is growing significantly in Peru, but for frozen and the other products we also see many opportunities. Customers increasingly see the benefit of diced mango that is supplied frozen. These were harvested when ripe, and immediately frozen, they are therefore ideal. Frozen mango sometimes tastes even better than fresh, because the fresh mangoes have to go on quite a journey, and are not harvested when ripe.”


Ukraine exports record volume of frozen vegetables

According to a report published by the EastFruit consultant, Ukraine exported a record volume of frozen vegetables despite having a shortage of raw materials and facing an unfavorable economic context due to the exchange rate of its currency, the Grivna, and the competition from Poland. During the first four months of the 2019/20 season (August - November 2019), the country exported 4,000 tons of frozen vegetables, i.e. 14% more than in the same period of the previous season. Export revenues amounted to a record $ 4.9 million dollars.

As the document highlights, in November the country exported 1.5 thousand tons of frozen vegetables, 31% more than in the same month of the previous year and 52% more than in October. The main raw materials for vegetable freezing companies are broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, peas, and sweet corn.

In recent years, Ukraine has actively developed the production of frozen onions for export to EU countries. Last season, some freezing companies even imported onions from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to peel, freeze, and export them. Almost all companies peel the onions manually.

According to analysts, this business has good prospects. Poland, for example, exports more than 500,000 tons of frozen vegetables a year worth more than 350 million dollars, including chips. The world leader in this category is Belgium, which exports more than 1.3 million tons of frozen vegetables and potatoes. Other leading exporters of frozen vegetables are China, Spain, and Poland.

"Export price of Chinese frozen chestnuts 15% higher year-on-year"

"Unlike most other produce, the overall export of frozen chestnuts over the past months has not been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared with the same period last year, the current export price is showing an increase of about 15%." Yue, Manager of Qinhuangdao Yanshan Chestnut Co., Ltd. said.

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Processing plant of frozen chestnuts

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Frozen chestnuts

"Recently, the Beijing market has been put in a temporary lockdown due to a new spike of Covid cases, which has had a slight impact on our sales. However, we have made timely strategic adjustments such as choosing to work with SF Cold Chain and replacing other business transit points. Thanks to this, the export of our frozen chestnut is carried out in an orderly manner."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Processing plant of frozen chestnuts

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Frozen chestnuts

"In addition to being marketed in the China market, our product is also exported to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore. Our domestic and overseas sales each account for about 50% of our total sales. We mainly export the sizes that form 90 pieces per kilo. Compared with last year, our domestic sales have decreased slightly but our exports have not changed much."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

冰板栗加工车间

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Product being shipped

“Each year, the months following May are the off-season of sugar roasted chestnuts, while frozen chestnuts are in their peak sales season. Currently, our customers in China are mainly specialized stores of sugar roasted chestnuts and roasted sweet potatoes. We also sell to branded chains for snacks, supermarkets, and convenience stores."

US: Frozen fruit and vegetable sales up 28.7% in week ending April 19

Since the onset of coronavirus in the United States, grocery shopping patterns have been vastly different in terms of elevated spending, day of the week, day part, product and brand choices, and online engagement. The week ending April 19 marked the seventh week of coronavirus-related shopping patterns. In-home consumption is here to stay for the foreseeable future and the additional demand continued to push retail sales well above prior year levels, despite going up against the later 2019 Easter, that fell on April 21. During these past six weeks, the frozen foods department has emerged as a sales leader across edibles and the week of April 19 was no different. 210 Analytics, IRI and AFFI partnered up to understand the effect for frozen food in dollars and volume throughout the pandemic.

During the week of April 19, frozen food sales continued to show highly elevated levels, with dollars up 28.8% over the comparable week in 2019. Despite another strong week for meat (+17.3%), the total perimeter increased just 1.0% due to the decreases in deli and bakery. Center store edibles increased 10.5%. Frozen foods generated nearly $1.4 billion in the week of March 29, 2020 — over $332 million more than the comparable week in 2019. Frozen food unit sales were up 22.9%.

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

A deep-dive into frozen food sales
The largest share within frozen foods, frozen meals, increased more than 20%. This was driven by continued appetite for frozen pizza, that was up 51.1% over the week ending April 19 versus the comparable week in 2019. The overall frozen fruit and vegetable category was up 28.7% in the week of April 19 versus the same week last year. Within this category, potatoes and onions were the main driver with sales up 37.8% over the week ending April 19 versus the same week a year ago.  

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Lessons from overseas
Overseas sales patterns can help shed some light on what may lie ahead. After very similar weeks of stockpiling as seen in the U.S., most countries seem to have shifted to continued elevated purchasing levels for total edibles, with mixed engagement with fresh (meat, produce, bakery, etc.). For food, the everyday baseline for the week ending April 12 (Easter week) trended about 20% above the comparable week in 2019 for all countries. Non-edible sales have mostly leveled off and declined for some. Frozen food continues to see above-average gains in all countries, but Spain.

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Slap LLC on the wild mushroom and soft fruit season in the Balkan region

"Frozen soft fruit is still our mainstay"

At this time of year, in the south-eastern European Balkan region, wild mushrooms and berries are traditionally harvested. For the export industry, therefore, high levels of activity are now called for. Slap LLC, based in Dornbirn, Austria, now also sells large weekly quantities of chanterelles, porcini mushrooms and berries. The company has been involved in marketing Balkan products on the German-speaking market since 2015 and has quickly made a name for itself, both on the fresh market and in the processing industry.

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

The Slap management has been involved in the forest mushroom campaign for just under a month. The season started with batches from Serbia, since two weeks there are also Bosnian chanterelles and porcini mushrooms on offer. "Unfortunately, the campaign has not been going so well so far. Firstly, the weather did not play ball, and secondly the Corona crisis has virtually paralysed the catering industry. Even after the reopening, guests are staying away in many places. Sales in this very important market segment for us are therefore unfortunately not so exhilarating," explains Muhamed Tabakovic, Managing Director of the company.

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Slap serves gastronomers, retail and the processing industry in the German-speaking countries. Since entering the fruit and vegetable sector in 2015, the management has seen a slight annual increase in turnover.

Modern service centre in Bosnia
The group of companies originally comes from the fishing industry, but for the past five years has also been involved in the export of fresh and frozen fruit and vegetable products. In the immediate vicinity of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and the Bosnian-Serbian border, the fruit group has an extensive service centre with appropriate cooling capacities, vehicle fleet and machinery. Says Tabakovic: "At this central location, the goods are sorted, processed, packaged and prepared for export. From there, the goods are distributed to the respective markets in Germany, Austria or Switzerland."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Slap LLC is certified organic as well. The frozen products from the Balkan region are delivered all year round, mainly in 10kg bags, to manufacturers and large bakeries in the German-speaking countries.

Fresh and frozen soft fruit
Apart from wild mushrooms, soft fruits are the mainstay of current exports from the Balkan region. Fresh strawberries have been available for a few weeks now, and the raspberry harvest has just begun in manageable quantities, they confirm: "From July onwards, we will be harvesting the first batches of our industrial Polka raspberry, which is mainly delivered to processing plants as frozen goods. The other varieties will also be frozen immediately after the fresh season and sent for export as frozen goods. Although we also export fresh berries, frozen fruit is still our most important pillar."

According to Tabakovic, the market situation for soft fruits is generally rather tight. "Not as much was planted there, so there will be relatively less produce than usual. This means that we have to expect considerable price increases. On the other hand, it is difficult to give a general forecast at the beginning of the season, because we are also heavily dependent on the quantities to be marketed in Poland and the Ukraine."

Frozen product sales skyrocket

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Frozen vegetables are a "fresh" product with a long-shelf life, ideal for those who stock up for fear of a "third world war". Orogel director Giancarlo Foschi reported that, over the past few days, the sales of frozen products have skyrocketed.

"But it is not a normal increase, as the fear of being forced at home for weeks of a food shortage - which will not occur - pushed consumers to stock up on frozen products."

But while big retail stores are asking for more frozen products, the H&R channel is requiring fewer products day after day. "Schools are closed, restaurants are working very little and there are no tourists around. Of course sales are dropping."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Orogel took all the precautions needed to avoid contagion. "Our company has always been structured to guarantee the maximum hygiene, especially since we prepare food. Following the Decree Law, we have re-arranged the shifts to avoid gatherings of personnel, eliminated staff rotations and suspended visits. Those who can are working from home."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

"Everything is carrying on normally so far, as the drop in demand from one sector has been compensated by the increase from another. We are hoping the measures implemented will make things go back to normal as soon as possible."

Ukraine becomes a major player in the export of frozen blueberries to China

Ukrainian exports of frozen blueberries to China experienced a notable increase during the first quarter of 2020. According to Ukrainian media, the country shipped 5.5 times more blueberries in the first quarter of 2020 than in the first quarter of 2019, reaching a total value of $ 6 million. Thus, Ukraine has positioned itself as China's main supplier of frozen blueberries in the northern hemisphere, surpassing Canada, Sweden, Latvia, Belarus, Russia, and Poland.

Frozen blueberries are the only product that Ukraine currently exports to the Asian country. In 2015, Ukrainian blueberry exports amounted to $ 383,000, and in 2018 they amounted to $ 2.8 million. Exports continued to increase in 2019 and amounted to $ 10 million. Experts predict that in 2020 Ukrainian frozen blueberry exports to China will achieve a new record.

China's blueberry market has expanded rapidly in recent years. The total market value is forecast to reach 40 billion yuan (US $ 5.7 billion) by 2025, with a production that will surpass 400,000 tons, making China the world's largest producer and consumer of blueberries.

However, compared to fresh blueberries, frozen blueberries only account for a small portion of the market.

In contrast, frozen blueberries account for a sizeable share of the North American market, which is currently the biggest producer and consumer of blueberries. The main variety in North America is the Highbush blueberry. The annual production volume currently stands at nearly 340,000 tons, 200,000 tons (59%) of which are fresh, and 140,000 tons (41%) are frozen.

From this perspective, frozen blueberries still have great development potential in the Chinese market.

Source: China Produce Report / blueberriesconsulting.com

"Chinese market demand for frozen vegetables rapidly increased"

Chinese consumers have had to change their eating habits in the last few weeks because many restaurants temporarily closed their doors in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. People now have to eat at home and prepare their own food. Following these changes, the shopping pattern of Chinese consumers shifted as well. People pay more attention to healthy foods as well as the shelf-life of products.

Mr. Xu of Rizhao Green Extension Food Co., Ltd. recently shared the management experience at his company during the COVID-19 pandemic: "Our company is specialized in frozen fruit and vegetable supply. We usually supply overseas markets, but during this pandemic we are also supplying the domestic market with frozen fruit and vegetables. The Chinese agricultural industry normally supplies large volumes of fresh fruit and vegetables around this time of year, but this year the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic changed consumption patterns. We see a growing number of orders for frozen fruit and vegetables. This is not just because frozen products have a long shelf-life, but also because frozen fruit and vegetables are easy to prepare at home. The preparation of frozen products requires less effort than the preparation of fresh products."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

"The market has been somewhat slow and chaotic in recent weeks. We resumed operations relatively early and we benefited from growing market demand for frozen products, but the export market does not look good. Our export volume has declined. This is mainly because Chinese companies temporarily closed down earlier this season after Chinese Spring Festival [25 January, 2020] and this period of inactivity was extended by the outbreak of COVID-19. This turned into a pandemic later in the season, which affected the global market. There is still demand from overseas markets, although the pandemic has an impact on general sales, but market demand for frozen fruit and vegetables will always continue."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

"We recently exported our products to Germany, the UK, and the USA. However, the USA has temporarily halted orders as the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll. It is unclear when the situation will improve. As for distribution, domestic distribution has recovered, but overseas distribution still suffers from slower processes in overseas ports. The products are sometimes delayed, but we are still able to deliver our products to their destinations. Our overall export volume declined by 10% in comparison with last year. It is still difficult to tell how the situation will develop, because so many countries are now in the middle of their struggle with COVID-19."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

"We predict a rapid growth in global market demand for frozen products. Many people are isolated at home during this COVID-19 pandemic and they have no way to go out for dinner. People will resume their regular shopping patterns as soon as the crisis is over and regular market demand will grow again. The current market price is quite stable. However, the price is also quite low. This is because overseas demand declined. The export market is slow and somewhat chaotic, which results in a low price. We sell more than 30 kinds of frozen fruit and vegetables. Frozen garlic and frozen ginger is quite popular in overseas markets. Domestic market demand focuses on frozen cauliflower, broccoli, green peas, corn, and mixed vegetables. We can produce frozen vegetables according to the client's requirements for size and variety."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

Potato war: Colombia takes anti-dumping measures against European frozen french fries

In October of last year, the European Commission (EC) lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) about the import tariffs Colombia has imposed on frozen french fries from Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. According to the European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, the European Union (EU) considers this South American country’s anti-dumping measures to be ‘entirely unjustified’.

The dispute began three years ago when the Colombian government investigated the dumping of frozen french fries on the internal market. This investigation focused on German, Belgian, and Dutch companies. The conclusion? ‘Yes, there was dumping being done on the Colombian market’.

A year later, in November 2018, import tariffs were then imposed on frozen french fries from the countries mentioned to act as anti-dumping measures. These charges range between three and eight percent and are valid for two years. This led to considerable frustration among the affected companies, who state unequivocally that absolutely no dumping had occurred.

The Colombian anti-dumping measures are, however, not an isolated incident. In 2013, South Africa increased its import tariffs op frozen potato products from Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, and in 2017, Brazil followed suit. Peru and Argentina are also toying with the idea of imposing anti-dumping measures against frozen french fries form Europe.

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

According to Romain Cools, Belgapom’s General Secretary, the framework of these anti-dumping measures is being abused. “Colombia stated in its report that the dumping measures in Brazil and South Africa indicated there must be a possibility of the same in their market. Although the Colombian market is modest, this affects the companies that have invested in it. The EC thoroughly investigated this case at the behest of the European, Belgian, Dutch and Germany authorities,” says Romain.

Romain Cools, Belgapom’s General Secretary.

“The EC has now said these are unfair measures. It has initiated dispute proceedings against that country at the WTO. None of the three countries concerned have taken part in any dumping. The primary driving force behind this action is the protection of important local players. These producers, after all, often have monopolies on the market, and open borders threaten that position. The fact that local consumers pay much more for these products is, apparently, not taken into account.”

Cools refers to Brussel’s lack of knowledge concerning the potato sector as the reason why the EU is only now taking action against Colombia, not doing so earlier against Brazil and South Africa. “In 2012, we approached the European Commission with all our concerns, but we were not heard. Without thoroughly investigating the cases, we were told ‘to stop dumping frozen french fries’ while this was never any mention of this practice. Thanks to lobbying by the European and national federations, and the support of mainly the Belgian and Dutch governments, the Commission’s view has changed.”

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

“South Africa surprised us, and we were too late when it happened in Brazil,” says Hylke Bunt, General Secretary at the Potato Processing Industry Association (VAVI). “We, as the potato sector in the Netherlands and Belgium, are better organized now. We have, thanks to among other parties, these countries’ national governments, been able to persuade the EC to lodge a complaint with the WTO.”

Hylke Bunt, the VAVI’s General Secretary

Romain sees the EU’s objection against Colombia as an example to other countries considering these kinds of import tariffs. “In South Africa, they are going to start the procedure to extend the anti-dumping fees. With these complaints to the WTO, the EU can now put more pressure on South Africa and Brazil (where court proceedings started by the companies involved and their federations are still pending)."

"In all three cases, we, indeed, saw procedural irregularities in the proceedings. Colombia, being used as an example, is not so strange. That country’s government is not open to talks, so this is the only thing left to be done. European Commissioner Malmström, herself, even reported that the Colombian authorities refused to respond to 30 calls requesting a sit-down.”

“The Colombian case lacks cohesion,” says Hylke. “Brazil and South Africa’s underlying cases were far more complex and, therefore, more difficult to oppose. The Colombians already stated in an interim report, released in November 2017, that they would impose import tariffs. It is an unlawful regulation, intended to protect their own market - in other words, pure protectionism.”

It is, however, not so much the pressure from the potato sector that forced Brussels to show their teeth. What could be next if Colombia can impose import tariffs on frozen french fries from three European countries with impunity? Some other countries charging a fee for Spanish citrus, Polish apples, or Greek grapes?

That prompted the European Commissioner to initiate dispute settlement proceedings at the WTO. A ruling is expected in 2022. “Until then, the Northwestern European french fry industry will have to deal with import duties,” says Hylke. “This costs us roughly €19 million every year.”

Production relocation
The processing industry fears import tariffs on french fries will cause a domino effect on the South American market. It is striking that the American branch of Lamb-Weston Meijer has entered into a joint venture with the Argentinian Sociedad Comercial del Plata, a holding company in Argentina. In this way, this frozen french fries manufacturer hopes to serve the South American market.

Image of frozen food must be improved

The weak image of frozen food among young adults will make selling these products in the future difficult, reports the German website lebensmittelpraxis.de. The branch has to improve the image among this audience with new ideas.


"Young people connect a feeling of shame to buying frozen food," says Ingo Barlovic of market research institute iconkids & youth. It's lacking in home made charm, and the products couldn't pass as fresh items. The image of frozen food has clearly and strongly suffered in this group in the past years. Pizza and fish fingers, however, are an exception to this rule: "They are always fine," says Barlovic.

What can be done to combat this? During a meeting of the frozen branch in Munich recently, various courses of action were discussed. The young generation knows too little about food, cooking and nutrition in general and this can be fixed, was the conclusion. "Intelligent solutions to 'unstructured' daily schedules and new communication methods through social networks are important challenges for marketing frozen food, and the whole branch communication in general." However, Facebook & Co cannot be seen as miracle solutions within the marketing mix, prof. dr. Christoph Burmann of the Bremen university soon clarified. This made some managers in the area of frozen food critically regard their investments within social media.

EU: Shoppers warming up to online frozen food

European consumers will turn more and more to online shopping and discounters to buy frozen food, a new report from Rabobank states.

Its look at the European frozen food sector shows that online shopping will see the most growth when it comes to shopping for frozen food. In what it describes as an ‘ice storm’ for the retail sector, it says that growth in the retail sector is coming to a standstill. “New channels, such as online grocery as well as discount and ‘rediscovered’ convenience stores, are increasingly eating away market share from supermarkets.” It goes on to say that more and more frozen foods will be purchased online, by as much as 50%.

However, it points out that a number of obstacles also stand in the way of frozen food growth. It says that consumers do not consider frozen food convenient, despite knowing that many frozen food products are fresher than their non-frozen equivalents and keep longer than perishable.

The issue for many shoppers, it says, is convenience and frozen foods can be more difficult to handle and compare. Practically, buying frozen products can mean that the products interfere with other foods and packaging and need to be transported quickly after purchase.

However, the online shop lends itself to buying frozen foods, the report says and as the growth in online food shopping continues, online frozen food sales may see considerable growth.

It says that France and the UK are the two leading countries for online food sales growth, with sales expected to double in both before 2016. However, the report also states that food manufacturers will have to make frozen foods more economical or rewarding for customers.

Source: agriland.ie

UAE supermarkets recall frozen food

UAE supermarkets have recalled frozen products following a listeria outbreak that has killed nine people in Europe. Waitrose and Spinneys both pulled Waitrose Essential mixed vegetable bags from its freezers on Monday following a mass recall in the UK involving six supermarkets.

The supermarkets displayed signs yesterday urging shoppers to return the product, which was the only Waitrose item sold in the UAE in a list of goods to be affected by the European recall.


In recent weeks, Aldi, Lidl, Iceland, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose have all recalled frozen vegetables due to the risk of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.


According to the European Food Safety Authority, the outbreak has been ongoing since 2015 and has also affected Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden.


Scientists used whole genome sequencing to determine that the source was likely frozen corn and possibly other frozen vegetables. They detected the same strains of L. monocytogenes have been detected in frozen vegetables produced by the same Hungarian company in 2016, 2017 and 2018.


“This suggests that the strains have persisted in the processing plant despite the cleaning and disinfection procedures that were carried out,” according to the EFSA.


According to thenational.ae, in late June, the Hungarian Food Chain Safety Office banned the marketing of all frozen vegetable and frozen mixed vegetable products made by the plant from August 2016 to June 2018, said the EFSA. It also ordered the immediate withdrawal and recall of the products.

Frozen food sees growth

The increase in the consumption of frozen vegetables is going on even now, at the height of summer and despite the lockdown. So said Maurizio Zappatore, commercial director of Orogel, commenting on the data for the first 6 months of 2020 compared to 2019.

"Organizing production, processing and marketing in the months of lockdown was not easy - he says - but we managed to maintain our quality standards, without ever lacking supplies. And from February 17 to May 3 the sales of frozen vegetables in the retail channel  increased by more than 25%, in June 2020, a good increase of +14.6%."

Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution
Frozen fresh fruit vegetable IQF processing & quality solution

It is therefore a growth trend and not just compulsive purchasing, like the one for disinfectants or yeast. And while the large-scale retail trade has recorded significant increases, the food service sector has experienced strong setbacks, even if in recent weeks there has been a slight recovery in the catering sector.

"There is a range of new consumers who started buying frozen foods regularly during the lockdown. And then, realizing the quality, practicality and convenience of the product, they are continuing to look for it. We are very satisfied with this".

However, these numbers are the result of programming and a series of investments that go beyond the coronavirus effect. "In the three-year period 2019-2021 we are going to invest 80 million in our development, after having invested 150 in the previous seven years. For many years we have set ourselves the goal of quality and our efforts have paid off: for some of our products, our market share ranges from 22% to 36%, not to mention what we produce under retailers' brands".

Orogel has the Fruttadoro group behind it, around which some producer cooperatives gravitate. "One of our non-negotiable objectives is the profitability of producers. It all starts with the quality of the vegetables that our partners supply. We have three plants, in three different areas of Italy, thanks to which we are able to process and freeze the product within a few hours from the harvest. These three plants are located in Ficarolo, in Veneto; Policoro, in Basilicata; and Cesena, in Emilia Romagna.

Zappatore has been with Orogel for 26 years. In this long stint he has helped the company to grow by improving the results every year. "Above all we have aimed at innovation - he says - which, in our sector, has achieved the best results in the recovery of traditional Italian food products or in the rediscovery of products and recipes that, nowadays, it would be as difficult to do at home as 50 years ago. But thanks to the commitment of our producers and the great improvement of industrial processes, we are able to bring our products to families' homes by combining high quality and fair prices".

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