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Anuga Frozen Food: international gathering for the frozen food industry in Cologne

The trend for freshness, health and sustainability is making frozen products increasingly popular with consumers – Over 370 national and international exhibitors from the frozen food segment will be represented at the event

Consumers’ desire for fresh, healthy and sustainable food has grown even further during the coronavirus pandemic – much to the benefit of frozen products, which profited significantly from this trend.

Anuga Frozen Food from 9 to 13 October 2021 will once again provide an international business platform for the global frozen food industry and share insights into the latest industry developments. Anuga will highlight the transition in food behaviour with its key theme #transform. For the first time, the trade fair will be accompanied by its digital extension, Anuga @home, which will run from 11 to 13 October 2021. The digital edition of the event will showcase exhibitors and their solutions, thereby providing new global networking opportunities. In total, more than 4,000 suppliers from over 91 countries are expected to travel to Cologne for Anuga.

The list of the leading exhibitors appearing in Anuga Frozen Food features names such as Agristo, Alfa, Arabatzis, Ardo, Aviko, Boulangerie Neuhauser, erlenbacher, Lutosa, Pfalzgraf, Point of Food, Roncadin, Surgital, Stohos , viciunai and Virto. The companies opting for a digital-only presence are predominantly from outside Germany, but they also include German frozen food suppliers, such as the Frostkrone Food Group. According to the latest interim figures, more than 370 exhibitors in total will participate in Anuga Frozen Food. More registrations are expected to follow over the next weeks, in particular from the countries represented in national pavilions at the event. In addition, further frozen food suppliers will be appearing in Anuga Meat and Anuga Bread & Bakery. The selection of products on show in Anuga Frozen Food ranges from fish and meat, fruit and vegetables, ready meals, bread and baked goods, ice cream, pizza and potato products through to bulk quantities for customers in the communal catering and food service sectors. A number of suppliers with a focus on plant-based or alternative protein products, such as fish substitutes, will also be represented at this year’s Anuga.

The German frozen food market in 2020/21

Total volume sales of frozen food in Germany declined by 4.5 per cent in 2020 to 3.66 million tonnes (2019: 3.833 million tonnes). The total value of frozen food sales fell by 1.8 per cent to Euro 15.081 billion (2019: Euro 15.361 billion), according to figures from the German Frozen Food Institute (dti). Increased demand for frozen products and high acceptance among consumers resulted in extremely good performance in the in-store and home delivery segments, but this could not compensate for the collapse of the out of home (OOH) market.

In the in-store and home delivery segments, frozen food recorded extraordinary growth of 12.1 per cent in volume terms in 2020, with sales of 2.087 million tonnes (2019: 1.861 million tonnes). That is an absolute record for the entire frozen food category in the retail sector. Frozen food sales in the in-store and home delivery segments rose by 13.4 per cent to Euro 9.40 billion (2019: Euro 8.29 billion), clearly exceeding the nine-billion mark for the first time.

The OOH market recorded an unprecedented collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic: For the first time, the consistent winner in recent years had to face painful losses in various OOH segments due to the extended lockdowns from March 2020. Volume sales fell by 20.3 per cent to 1.573 million tonnes (2019: 1.973 million tonnes). Frozen food sales in the OOH market totalled Euro 5.68 billion in 2020, a decline of 19.6 per cent (2019: Euro 7.07 billion). Sales of all frozen food product groups in the OOH market experienced double-digit declines in 2020.

The German frozen food industry, a sector accustomed to success, had to face a significant setback that is entirely due to the extended closures of food service businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the crisis in the food service industry, per capita consumption of frozen food decreased by 2.1 kilograms in 2020 to 44.8 kilograms (2019: 46.9 kg). This represents a dramatic fall of a magnitude never seen before and an unexpected departure from the trend over the last 30 years.

Issues and trends

Cooking and food behaviour in Germany has changed considerably during the coronavirus pandemic, as is demonstrated by the TK-TRENDBAROMETER, a representative consumer survey conducted by the market research institute INNOFACT AG on behalf of the dti.

From consumers’ perspective, the three most important aspects in relation to food are the freshness of products (92%), a healthy diet (81%) and natural ingredients (81%). During the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of a healthy diet and the freshness of products increased for at least one-quarter of respondents. The trends for vegetarian (22%) and vegan (15%) food are much less significant than previously thought, with respondents rating these criteria as significantly less important. Consumers are not dogmatic here. However, almost half (49%) say that they would like to reduce their meat consumption, while as many as 58 per cent state that they would like to cut their sugar intake.

During the coronavirus pandemic, people have been cooking for themselves with fresh ingredients more often, as 41 per cent of respondents confirmed. Nearly one-third of respondents (31%) ordered takeaway food more frequently. A good quarter of respondents (26%) turned to delivery services more often. How consumers handle frozen food products has also changed for the better: 19 per cent of respondents said that they had been cooking for themselves using frozen ingredients more frequently. The popularity of cooking frozen meals increased considerably among 14 per cent of consumers.

As market developments have proved for years, frozen products have always been valued highly and viewed positively in Germany. Frozen products are not just an indispensable part of our diets today; they are also game changers in healthy and sustainable eating habits. Almost every household (98%) buys and uses frozen products – even in “normal” times. The share of heavy users – consumers who use frozen products at least once a month to several times a week – has continued to grow and currently stands at 78 per cent. The most popular product groups are vegetables/herbs (77%), fish (69%), potato products (65%), pizza (60%) and bread rolls (48%).

The international outlook for frozen food

According to the Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, the frozen food market amassed worldwide sales of US dollar 291.8 billion in 2019. It is estimated to reach US dollar 404.8 billion by 2027, corresponding to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% between 2020 and 2027. The European frozen food market is forecast to reach US dollar 124.1 billion by 2027.

Events for the frozen food industry at Anuga

As a partner of Anuga Frozen Food and Anuga Culinary Concepts, the dti will once again be represented at a stand in Hall 4.2, B11/C10. The association’s trade fair stand is an established and popular point of contact for all its members as well as visitors and those with an interest in frozen food. This is where the German frozen food industry meets with visitors from across the world for industry discussions in the frozen food lounge.


As part of the Anuga event programme, the dti, the trade journal Lebensmittel Praxis and Koelnmesse will present the awards for the TIEFKÜHL STARs on 11 October 2021 from 6 p.m. Guests from the industry and the retail trade and, most importantly, the nominated retailer teams are expected for TIEFKÜHL-STAR-NIGHT. Dr Tobias Wachinger, Senior Partner at McKinsey Munich, will give a talk on “The Crisis and the New Consumers: Lifestyle and Price Focus Will Be the Trends for 2021”. The organisers are looking forward to emotional moments and meeting up with the industry again in Cologne.

International Frozen Food Network

The dti will also be flying the flag for the frozen food industry on Anuga @home. It plans to host an inaugural round table with the International Frozen Food Network (IFFN), an umbrella organisation for frozen food trade associations from the US, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany. Taking “A Fresh Look at Healthy & Sustainable Frozen Foods” as its theme, the discussion will be hosted by John Saulnier of Frozen Foods Biz.

Frozen Food Round Table

In collaboration with the trade journal Lebensmittel Praxis (LP), the dti will host another round table on frozen food, which will be available to view on Anuga @home. Leading representatives from the frozen food industry and the retail trade will discuss the latest trends and challenges in the frozen food industry in a debate hosted by Andrea Kurtz (LP).

Sustainability congress

The dti will also support Anuga and the Center for Sustainable Corporate Leadership (ZNU) at Witten/Herdecke University in staging the conference SHAPING SUSTAINABILITY TOGETHER – The Entire Chain at a Glance on 13 October 2021 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The congress will highlight the economic benefits that sustainable management can bring at a company and product level.

Anuga Frozen Food 2021 will help shape the international exchange in the frozen food business. Its highest priority is providing a pleasant trade fair experience for its exhibitors and visitors. The dti as a representative for the entire German frozen food industry will provide an important contribution and highlight the benefits of frozen offerings. Koelnmesse – industry trade fairs for the food and beverage sector: Koelnmesse is an international leader in organising trade fairs in the food and beverage segment. Events such as Anuga and ISM are established, world-leading trade fairs, hosted in Cologne/Germany. In addition to the events at its Cologne headquarters, Koelnmesse also stages numerous food trade fairs with different sector-specific areas of focus and content in further key markets across the world, including Brazil, China, India, Japan, Columbia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. These global activities enable Koelnmesse to offer its customers bespoke events and leading regional trade fairs in a variety of markets, thus creating the foundation for sustainable international business. Koelnmesse is also ideally positioned in the field of food technology with its leading international trade fairs Anuga FoodTec and ProSweets Cologne and its global network of satellite events. 

For more details, you may visit this link, or contact our Philippine Country Representative Ms. Riznha Mendoza.