The report by Markets and Marketsshows that within this sector Europe led the way in terms of value in 2012, followed by North America and Asia-Pacific. Yet looking forward Europe is set to show only steady growth of 6.9% running up to 2018, with the Asia-Pacific market projected to gain the most ground with 7.7% growth over the same period. Overall the report estimated a compounded annual growth rate of 7.1% for the forecast period.
“In the Asia-Pacific region, the people have been introduced to frozen bakery in recent years, so the growth rate in this region would be the highest. Good quality products containing nutrients are making foray in a big way with the growing food processing industry in this region,” according to the report.
“The world is witnessing an increase in the number of bakery businesses, with consumers opting for the more reasonably priced frozen bakery products over other baked fast foods,” wrote the researchers.
Frozen bakery products hold opportunities in prolonged shelf-life from the perspective of manufacturers and retailers, but also from that of the consumer. “The growth of this market segment banks on consumer preference for a convenient alternative to freshly baked products. This growth will be maintained in the future with an opportunity to produce new speciality bakery with plenty of innovation for health-conscious consumers,” according to the report.
Frozen pizza crusts accounted for a 32.2% share of the total market, while frozen breads hold almost 25.5% and frozen pastries 15.5%.
While this is a promising sector in sales figures and its ability to prolong shelf-life, manufacturers still face challenges in obtaining the same volume and crumb texture of traditional bread.
“The freezing process and storage can have a negative effect on bread quality. Partially baked frozen breads after re-baking have a lower volume, denser structure and harder crumb than directly baked breads,” wrote researchers behind a study published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology earlier this year.
The study looked at a variety of methods that could improve the quality of partially baked and frozen breads, including hydrocolloids, enzymes, antioxidants and emulsifiers and sourdough fermentation as a natural option.
Looking at the results for sourdough fermentation, the researchers concluded that: “Quality of partially baked frozen whole wheat bread can be largely improved by adding sourdough; however, this depends on sourdough characteristics and amount."