Is frozen food finally finding a cozy spot in our freezers?
As young brands try to revolutionize frozen food and make it healthier, numbers tell us that India is slowly warming up to this change too.
Written by Priyanka Talreja Garegrat
Undoubtedly, India is the land of home cooked food. When Poocho researchers asked working professionals about their indulgences around frozen food, here are what a few shared with us, "Right now, due to health reasons, I don't consume frozen food, like processed frozen foods, but then the other members of the family, they do consume."
Another professional mentioned, "I don't prefer to order too much food, especially all these fried things. So sometimes we buy frozen chicken nuggets or frozen chicken popcorn and we just make that for ourselves at home."
For these individuals, the frozen food category paints a picture of processed, deep fried chicken. However, we also spoke to households that are opening up to the idea of frozen foods. In those conversations, they spoke of brands that are trying to be true to the customer while making frozen foods more accessible and exciting to the Indian palette. Let’s take a look at three of them -
Licious is now a household name. Most meat eaters have likely encountered a Licious product at some point during or post the pandemic. Launched in October 2015 by Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Licious took birth when the founders decided to change the way India experiences meat. With the promise to offer premium produce directly sourced from the farmers, Licious claims that its best ethically-raised breeds are administered with nutrient-rich feed under stringent biosecurity protocols after 150 quality checks and delivered fresh every day. In just six years, Licious has formed an impressive niche and space for itself. In the year of its launch, the company collected revenues of INR 1.47 crores whereas in 2019-20, the gross income of Licious rose to a whopping INR 180 crores. As they grow, the brand aims to keep a check on the freshness and quality of its products by offering food that is chilled and not frozen. For Licious, customer loyalty continues to remain the prime focus.
The new kid on the block, Boemi, claims that its history with seafood is as old as India’s Independence itself. About 2 generations ago, this family set up shop to procure and sell the highest quality seafood to the highest rated restaurants across Mumbai. With the launch of Boemi.in, the family hopes to serve amazing seafood right to our homes. The company shares, “It was imperative for us to invest in state-of-the-art machinery, enhance our supply chain logistics and build a brand that delivers incredible quality seafood to maintain our reputation.” On its site, the company further claims to never add preservatives as freezing the produce is a natural way of preserving them. They state their products are high on protein and low on fat and that the goodness stays locked till it reaches our homes. They thus promise to offer quality seafood, directly from the source, with all safety checks - at competitive prices. Phew!
Founded in 2015 by Shan Kadavil and Mathew Joseph, FreshToHome began with the sole purpose of making fresh meat available to everyone. Need your stock of daily fish, poultry and mutton? This brand offers it in Bangalore, Delhi (NCR), Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Trivandrum, Calicut, and Thrissur. As per the latest reports, it is believed that FreshtoHome is all set to enter the unicorn club with its series D funding, which will double its valuation to over $1 Bn.
With our penchant for ghar ka khaana there might still be some way to go before consumers fully understand and indulge in this evolved form of frozen food. However, brands such as the ones we listed above, are trying to revolutionize the frozen food image with their new farm-to-table model. One thing is for sure, India appears to be gearing up for this change as sales numbers in the frozen food category steadily increase.