Frozen foods are industrially processed foods that are preserved through freezing. Subcategories of the frozen food market include frozen dinner and entrées (multi-serve and single-serve), ice cream and sherbets, frozen pizza, frozen breakfast foods, frozen snacks and appetizers, vegetables and frozen desserts. The storage temperature must be -18 degrees or less.
Early types of methods for freezing foods have been around since the 15th century, but the real start of the refrigeration industry has gone hand in hand with the invention of the refrigerating machine by Carl Linde in 1874. It took some more years until the first-ready-to-eat dinner had been invented during the 50's by Gerry Thomas, also known as the ‘TV-dinner’. It was aimed to be heated directly in the oven and then to be enjoyed in front of the TV. The original TV dinner came packaged in an aluminum tray similar to those used for airline food service. It consisted of a three-component meal of turkey, mashed sweet potatoes and buttered peas served with gravy and corn bread dressing. In particular, the TV dinner targeted busy wives who had started working in increasing numbers.
Today, time-strapped consumers are still looking for convenient and products ease of preparation when they purchase frozen foods at a store. Industry experts assume the category to grow in the next years with healthier options and consumer trends such as ‘Better-for-you’ products and products based on natural and organic ingredients or products featuring local contents.