According to MarketsandMarkets, the global cold chain market size is estimated to be valued at USD 233.8 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 340.3 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 7.8% in terms of value. Emerging economies in Asia Pacific and South American are going to be the potential markets for the cold chain service providers. The inclination of consumers toward convenience food & beverages due to busier lifestyles and rising awareness among consumers to mitigate food wastage has fueled the market for cold chain.
The cold chain market is segmented, by type, into refrigerated warehousing and refrigerated transport. Perishable food products such as meat, fish and seafood, fruits & vegetables, bakery and confectionery, and dairy and frozen desserts are sensitive to even minute temperature fluctuations. The cold chain helps in the management of the temperature of perishable products to maintain quality and safety.
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Refrigeration reduces the rate at which food gets deteriorated and increases the shelf-life of the product. Refrigerated transportation, otherwise known as reefer freight, is becoming an increasingly prominent industry with the growth in demand for climate-sensitive goods from around the world. It is gaining importance in many industries, such as fresh and processed food, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and other industry solutions. Refrigerated transportation is a method of shipping freight that requires special, temperature-controlled vehicles.
The vehicle transporting the products has a built-in refrigeration system that keeps products at a desired temperature throughout the transportation process.
In Asia Pacific, India is a key cold chain market, which is highlighted by the rise in the organized retail sector. India’s GDP growth has moderated considerably in recent years due to the imposition of tight monetary policies to curb the rising inflationary pressures. Rapid urbanization has been one of the major factors for the growth of the food & beverage industry. Furthermore, the changing consumption patterns and consumers shifting toward ready-to-eat food and frozen food products are driving the demand for cold chain in the food industry. This is creating opportunities for cold chain service providers in the country. The retail sector has been swaying toward organized retail stores with the advent of modern trade supermarkets. The availability of processed, frozen, and fresh categories of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meat mandate the use of temperature-controlled cold storage and warehousing in the supply chain.
The rest of the world (RoW) segment, which includes South America, Middle East, and Africa is also projected to witness the fastest growth in the cold chain market during the forecast period due to the globalization of business and technological innovations. In South America, consumers from Brazil and Argentina primarily focus on the consumption of meat, which fuels the market for cold chain in this region. The use of cold chain thus aids in the prevention of food wastage.
The chilled temperature type segment is the fastest growing for the cold chain market. Chilled products going through the cold chain involves chilling the products by reducing the food temperatures to below ambient temperatures but above –1°C. Chilling food products between 0°C to +5°C is an effective tool for preserving food for shorter durations. It is because it retards many of the microbial, physical, chemical, and biochemical reactions that lead to food spoilage and deterioration.
Food application such as fruits & vegetables has the highest growth rate during the forecast period, as post-harvest storage is crucial as it is associated with the deterioration rate caused by changes due to biochemical processes due to microorganisms. Temperature is very important in this case. In general, the storage of fresh vegetables and fruits ranges from 0 ° C to 15 ° C. Refrigeration is used at all stages of the cold chain, ranging from food processing (precooling, packing), distribution, retail, and end-consumer households. Frozen fruits & vegetables are packed within hours of harvest to ensure that their peak flavor and nutritional values are preserved. The rise in consumer awareness to mitigate food wastage has been a driving factor in boosting cold chain in food applications.