Increasing Popularity of Ready-To-Eat Foods Fueling Demand for Cold Chain Logistics

This rapid transformation in cold chain logistics made the transportation of perishables and temperature-sensitive products over large distances possible.



a year ago | 2 min read

Cold chain has been an integral component of logistics since the late 18th century when ice was used for preserving temperature-sensitive and perishable products such as dairy products, fish, and meat during transportation from one place to another. With rapid technological advancements in the following decades, cold chain logistics witnessed a drastic evolution. At present, cold chain logistics includes exclusively built cold storage facilities, cooling equipment, cold processing, cold transport, and cold distribution.

This rapid transformation in cold chain logistics made the transportation of perishables and temperature-sensitive products over large distances possible. This, in turn, fueled large-scale commercial activities involving these products, which subsequently caused the expansion of the global cold chain market. Moreover, with the growing popularity of ready-to-eat food items, especially in the developing countries such as India, Brazil, and China, the industry will exhibit rapid progress in the coming years.

The other major factor propelling the demand for cold chain logistics is the rising consumption of processed food items and fast foods, especially in the emerging economies, mainly because of the surging disposable income of the people residing in these countries. Besides this, the increasing popularity of the ‘eating out’ culture and the development of numerous hypermarkets, supermarkets, quick service restaurants (QSRs), and fast-food chains in these countries are also driving the expansion of the cold chain market.

Bakery & confectionery, meat & seafood, dairy & frozen desserts, biopharmaceuticals, sauces, and fruits & vegetables are the main categories under the application segment of the market. Out of these, the meat & seafood category recorded the highest growth in the market in the years gone by, as per the findings of the market research company, P&S Intelligence. This was because of the huge demand for proper cold storage facilities for meat and seafood in several countries around the world.

This demand was particularly high in India, Chile, Indonesia, and China, which are some of the largest meat and seafood-producing countries in the world. The market is also classified, on the basis of type, into refrigerated transport and refrigerated storage. Between these, the refrigerated storage category registered higher growth in the market in the past, on account of the huge investments made by various organizations in the development of cold storage facilities and refrigerated warehouses in the developing nations.

Globally, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) cold chain market was found to be the most lucrative one in 2015. This is credited to the existence of numerous refrigerated warehouses in China and India. In APAC, the industry is currently booming in China, on account of the country being one of the largest fruits and vegetables producing nations in the world. In addition to this, the country has a well-developed refrigeration infrastructure for logistics and food processing.

Thus, it can be safely said that the requirement for a well-developed cold chain would surge all over the world in the future years, on account of the growing consumption of processed foods, fast foods, and ready-to-eat food items and the increasing transportation of fruits and vegetables, meat & seafood, and dairy products across different regions around the world.


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