Rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the world's main staples, with a total production of milled rice forecast at 496.1 million tons for 2019/20. Quality varies greatly between rice cultivars, growing regions, as well as being subject to cultural preferences for specific cooking techniques and characteristics. Consumers of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burma, and Thailand usually prefer rough, discreet, and fluffy texture. By contrast, most people in Japan and Korea prefer rice with a soft, sticky, and lumpy texture. Throughout Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, intermediate-grade rice typically has the highest acceptability. There is no single method of rice cooking that can be extended effectively to all varieties of rice. With the fast-growing market, the demand for IQF rice is expected to grow significantly in the years to come which will also result in growing the varieties of rice .There are many opportunities for IQF rice varieties that are whole grain, wild rice and black rice which have become a trend as consumers are preferring healthy meals. IQF rice are free flowing which makes them easy to handle, portion and dispense. Current trend heads towards more ecologically sustainable packaging. Whereas, the IQF rice industry has made inordinate strides by adopting innovative packaging formats such as microwaveable pouches for frozen foods which can be reheated while serving. Owing to these factors, IQF rice market is expected to witness a substantial growth over the forecast period.
Consumers are looking for easy, quick, and ready to eat meals due to hectic schedule. In addition to this, due the growth in the number of nuclear families around the world the amount of time required for cooking at home has drastically decreased. This increase in demand for packed frozen meals as generated higher demand for precooked frozen products. To meet consumers' needs freezing techniques are applied to frozen rice products that can be kept for longer periods. Processed and frozen rice which is easy to cook is the best way to keep up their expectations. Freezing processes are applied to raw materials which in turn improves the safety of food, convenience, and quality. IQF rice exhibit the same texture characteristics of home-cooked rice due to the use of similar manufacturing processes. Frozen foods hold more nutrients and freshness than canning or drying products, so frozen rice is a healthy food product. The appearance is a very attractive feature of rice products that are cooked, but the freezing technique causes serious damage to the cell membranes and the starch gel network structure of cooked rice and may result in excessive softening. Due to the slow freezing technique, it results in the formation of large ice crystals which causes permanent damage to the structure and texture of the cells as essential to the favorable characteristics of the rice. Taking all these characteristics consumers have a greater demand for frozen cooked rice as it is more comparable in consistency to rice which is cooked at home.
On account of the increasing trends of globalization and urbanization, consumer lifestyle has undergone many changes since the past few years. Improvements in the global employment rates and increasing number of working women across the globe are expected to transform the food purchasing and consumption habits of consumers. Due to the lower availability of time to run household errands, consumer preference to ready-to-eat food products is expected to remain high, leading to rising demand for frozen food products. As frozen food can be stored for more than 3 months and can be cooked within minutes, it makes cooking more convenient for the fast-paced schedules of the consumers. The global IQF rice market is expected to benefit greatly from the increasing pace of the consumer lifestyle and high demand for the convenience food products in the upcoming years.
Based on nature, global IQF Rice can be segmented as: -
Based on product type, global IQF Rice can be segmented as: -
Some the key players operating their business in the global Iqf rice market are Nippon Industries INC, Simplot Foods, Seenegry Food limited, Global foods and provisions limited, Turris Italian Foods among others
The growth of the frozen food market will be driven primarily by the increasing demand and consumption of IQF rice in emerging markets around the world. Increasing disposable incomes, combined with evolving lifestyles and eating behaviors, are key factors that fuel consumer growth in these regions. Established markets are expected to continue to expand at a moderate pace, primarily driven by growing consumer demand for safe frozen foods.