The frozen food market accounted for a market value of $268 billion in 2016, with a forecasted CAGR of 4.1% during 2018-2023 (1). Developing economies, such as Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, are growing faster than the developed countries, regarding consumption, sales and production of frozen food products.
The demand for convenience is high, and frozen food items reduce cooking, preparation and clean-up efforts & time for the consumers. The increasing disposable incomes, increasing working women, changing and busy lifestyles, demand for healthy and hygienic food are creating a solid foundation for a growing demand for frozen food products.
The demand for ready-packed, easy-to-cook, and ready-to-eat products can be observed across the entire food market and it will boost the global frozen food market. New technologies are shaping the market development. The global frozen food industry is investing heavily in new freezing and processing technologies, which can support and differentiate one producer's frozen products from the competition.
The major factors to be considered by the frozen food companies are the cost reduction of environment-friendly products, packaging that has a high preserving quality and the nutrition value of the goods. New technologies, such as high pressure processing and self-heating packaging for frozen food, are in use in this industry and the market is ready to launch canned ready-to-eat foods that can self-heat and de-freeze.
Farm-to-table transparency is what consumers are looking for, now and in the future. For frozen food manufacturers, this means clear printing and high-quality packaging to gain and maintain consumer trust. Frozen food has not always been a synonym of freshness but innovation and new technologies combined with new and shorter distribution chains are addressing the challenge.
To guarantee that consumers realize the benefits of frozen food, packaging is now designed with premium quality in mind, with an emphasis on freshness. The packaging is more visually appealing and tactile, sealing is more secure and quality has been generally improved across the production process. While folding carton and plastics (rigid and flexible) are dominating the packaging solutions, new plastic materials are being developped. Sustainable packaging is growing in importance across the globe and all frozen food manufacturers are taking measures to reduce their environmental impact. When looking at the entire product life cycle assessment, frozen food generates overall around 50% less waste than fresh food.
Frozen food combines folding carton and flexible substrates across a wide range of box sizes. All flexible materials used for frozen food packaging can be printed on the 20SEVEN and 40SEVEN CI flexo presses. For gravure printing, the RS 6003 platform offers a large choice of machine configurations with highly efficient dryers and ventilation systems that minimize any trace of residual solvent on the web. The RS 5002, with its dedicated features for markets where the use of local inks is widespread is a real bestseller. For narrow- to mid-web inline UV flexo presses the M4, M5 and M6 UV flexo presses deliver high printing quality and substrate enhancements all in one pass, along with total food safety thanks to the unique UV Track system that tests and tracks the UV inks safety across the whole surface of the substrate during printing. The BOBST K5 EXPERT can produce more rolls per day and provides significant cost saving innovations. For products requiring metalized effects, the BOBST K5 VISION is able to handle many different film types including heat sensitive and thin gauge substrates. For transparent barrier film protection, the Aluminum Oxide (AlOx) process is available on both BOBST models delivering a proven solution. The compact CL 750 laminator enables production of flawless duplex constructions used in the market segment.
Packaging for frozen & chilled food is a major priority for BOBST especially as box volumes and quality requirements are high. Demanding brands and converters find a solution with the most automated and productive die-cutter MASTERCUT 145 PER which can run up to 9'500 s/h. This high speed die-cutter delivers fast, uninterrupted production and superb quality finished products. When it comes to flat-bed die-cutting of corrugated board and litho-lam such as ice box, MASTERCUT 1.7/2.1 is the pioneering solution that delivers higher running speeds, fewer stops, shorter make-readies, and matchless quality. With the most versatile and productive folder-gluer MASTERFORLD 110 , BOBST offers the perfect configuration to deal with this challenge. The EASYFEEDER / BATCH INVERTER 4 will feed the blanks faster and easier. The in-line inspection system ACCUCHECK 2 will guarantee zero-fault packaging. The devices SPEEDWAVE 3 -for crash-locks and SPEEDHOOK -for 4 & 6-corners will save you time and deliver exceptional folding quality; while the high performance packer CARTONPACK 4 increases your productivity by automatically filling your shipping containers. For brown boxes in very high productivity, the BOBST FFG 8.20 is the industry benchmark in terms of speed and fast order change for a fully automated complete line.