Compared with the United States, Japan, and other countries, China's FD freeze-dried food lags behind these countries regarding output, market size, and consumption habits.
1. Freeze-drying belongs to a relatively high-end food production process. In the past 20 years, it is still difficult for the domestic standard of living to enter the ordinary consumers, and the consumption is relatively high.
2. Freeze-drying technology originated in the West. Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are commonly used in western developed countries as breakfast ingredients, such as mixed milk and oat food. Domestic freeze-drying companies are mainly exporting. For the development and application of the domestic market, the investment is very small.
FD freeze-drying technology is a food production process that can be applied in various fields, from vegetables, condiments, fruits, and meat, to mushrooms, micro-particles, and convenience foods. Especially in convenience food, FD freeze-drying technology has strong advantages, and the nutrition and flavor are intact. Since the dehydration rate reaches 95%, it is lightweight and easy to transport and carry.
When referring to the market size of freeze-dried food, many reports, and industry insiders will mention a figure. Compared with the more mature markets in the United States and Japan, the annual demand for freeze-dried food is 6 million tons and 2 million tons. The domestic application of freeze-dried food is around 3,000 tons to 4,000 tons. There is a huge gap, but it is estimated that the domestic demand for freeze-dried food may reach 8 million tons to 10 million tons.
In the next 5-10 years, domestic freeze-drying technology in food, health product ingredients, military food applications, and pet food will increase dramatically.
In 2016, the American Petfood industry magazine made statistics that freeze-dried pet food maintained a continuous growth trend: in 2014, the annual growth rate of the freeze-dried market was 22.5%. By 2015, this figure had jumped to 62.7%, its total market share reached 195.4 million US dollars, and the amount exceeded 229 million US dollars in 2016. Many high-end pet foods in China are mainly imported, and this market is a great opportunity for the domestic freeze-drying industry.