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1.1 Scope of the study and definition

Deep-freezing is a food preservation technique that consists of rapid cooling of the food to low temperatures. The technique has given its name to deep-frozen foods, a term used to refer to the set of foods that are preserved by this method. Frozen food is therefore a sub-segment of the wider food market.

The frozen food market can be broken down by product, the most common being fruit, vegetables, ready-to-eat dishes, meat and fish.

This study on deep-frozen products will focus on the different market segments, business to business and business to consumer, and the different forms they can take (home delivery for example). The manufacturing or the products themselves will also be taken into account.

In a difficult context, marked by the market maturation and the relative consumer disinterest for frozen foods, the strategy of the dominant players must evolve towards increased diversification of their offer to gain in sales volume.

1.2 A mature market in Europe

According to a study by Markets & Markets, the global deep-frozen food market is estimated at $***.* billion in ****. Its average annual growth is expected to be *.*% between **** and ****, generating *** million dollars in sales in ****. Market growth in recent years has been driven by the creation of supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Distribution of the ...

1.3 Frozen products in France: difficulties and a lack of consumer confidence

The annual report of Toupargel, a deep-frozen food home delivery company, provides a snapshot of the French deep-frozen food market. In total, **% of the ** million French households consumed deep-frozen food in ****. The size of the market is estimated at *.* billion euros, which represents *.*% of household food purchases.
In terms of growth, ...


2.1 The business to consumer segment

Demand profile
An analysis carried out by Kantar Worldpanel provides an overview of consumer demand for deep-frozen food and ice cream. Individuals spent an average of *** euros on deep-frozen food in **** [***]. Between **** and ****, the annual number of purchases decreased by *.* million. These losses were mainly concentrated on:
frozen seafood products (***); ice ...

2.2 Collective catering

Another segment of demand, business to business this time, the sale of deep-frozen products made to collective catering establishments. Among these are:
educational institutions; retirement homes and social institutions; companies and administration; hospitals and health facilities; catering.
 The teaching
The student population, at all ages and levels, has increased by *.*% in ...

2.3 Individual catering

Individual restaurants can use wholesalers for deliveries of deep-frozen products.
There are ***,*** restaurants in France, **,*** of which are in Paris and a little less than **,*** in the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône and Alpes-Maritimes. Fast food, which also uses the services of logistics providers (***), represents **% of the sector. [***]
According to the same ...

2.4 New modes of out-of-home catering

The snacking
Other circuits of out-of-home catering is developing in the vicinity or within the catering establishments. This is particularly true of snacking offers that appeal for their simplicity and affordable prices, a trend that CBC leaders are integrating into their solution packages. This development could potentially reduce the consumption of ...


3.1 The BtoC distribution

The business to consumer segment is the distribution between a company and a consumer. According to Unigrains' figures, this segment represented **% of the deep-frozen food market in ****.
In the context of the sale of deep-frozen products to consumers, it is interesting to distinguish two types of brands:
the ...

3.2 Business to business distribution

The business to business distribution, which consists of the delivery of deep-frozen products between two companies, represented **% of the deep-frozen food market in **** according to Unigrains' data. This distribution can be between a manufacturer of deep-frozen foods (***).
Gira Foodservice collected data on this distribution segment. These are from **** but provide an ...


4.1 Frozen products available on the market

In order to build an overview of the deep-frozen food offer, we can analyse the offer of Picard which is a specialized distributor. The brand distinguishes between:
Fruits and vegetables ; Meats and poultry ; Fishes and crustaceans .
These dishes can be sold under various shapes :
aperitifs; starters, pies and ...

4.2 Low prices and prices for frozen products

Prices for private individuals
By analyzing the cost of Picard products, we can establish that they are between:
*.** euros and * euros for vegetables; *.** euros and * euros for fruit; * euros and * euros for meat products and fish.
Prices for food professionals
In the context of deep-frozen products sale to food professionals, it ...

4.3 Towards the obsolescence of deep-freezing?

The hydroprotection process, a revolution?
Agro Media notes that some advancements have been madeover the past few years in the field of food preservation. For example, the Centre de Développement Bioalimentaire du Québec has developed a new food preservation process called hydroprotection process, abbreviated as HPP.
HPP consists of ...


5.1 Respect for the cold chain

Players in the deep-frozen food market (***) are required to respect the cold chain - i.e. to ensure that deep-frozen food is kept at a safe temperature negative temperature in compliance with regulations. Food must always be less than - ** °C at the core, the ambient temperature must be between - ...


6.1 Segmentation

g means "total group turnover"

  • Carrefour
  • Auchan
  • Picard
  • Toupargel
  • Thiriet
  • Maximo
  • PassionFroid
  • Davigel (Sysco France)
  • Transgourmet
  • Martin-Brower France
  • Orly Gel
  • M&M Quality Food
  • E.Leclerc

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chargé d'études économiques, Xerfi

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Robin Charbonnier

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Pierre Doussau

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Arnaud Walter

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