With the population increasing at a rapid pace in cities, especially the capital, and citizens becoming increasingly busy – young adults, couples, and the advent of nuclear families (with working parents) mean that the demand for “ready to cook” convenience food is on the rise. The city dwellers and households are progressively adapting to frozen foods (not only protein- like fish and meats but also vegetables as well). Additionally, the marketing campaigns of the frozen food companies in Bangladesh have spurred an increase in demand.
The frozen foods domestic market in Bangladesh can be broadly divided into four broad segments-
Frozen foods: The cold chain industry worldwide is growing at a rapid pace. The world is becoming more and more urbanized which supports the convenience food culture. The global frozen food industry recorded close to 4% growth in 2010 exceeding $192 billion. The market is expected to see a 19% expansion over the next five years exceeding $228 billion by end of 2015. In terms of volume, the market is expected to exceed 14% growth in the same period to reach almost 43.5 billion kilograms. Frozen meat represents the leading segment, accounting for more than 41% of the overall market in terms of value. Europe accounts for 37.6% of the global frozen food market value. For Bangladesh, plausible lucrative export destinations are the USA, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe.
The domestic frozen foods market is also growing at a rapid pace with the expansion being almost 30% in 2011-12 over the preceding fiscal year. Currently, the market is projected to be at BDT 2,680 million+. Even if the existing growth persists, the current size of the market would be BDT 3,400 million+.
Frozen Chickens: Demand for poultry demand has increased over the years with rising per capita income. According to the latest BBS statistics as of 2010-11, Bangladesh produced approximately 2 million metric tons of meat, including poultry and livestock. Meat processing in industrial plants is a very recent addition to the food processing industry in Bangladesh. Only one modern beef processing facility and ten poultry processing facilities are currently in operation. Overall processed, meat constitutes approximately less than one percent of total meat production (Source: Global Agriculture Information network, Mar13).
Frozen chickens are mostly available through high-end superstores charging premium pricing. Another market is the B2B segment catering to major fast-food chains. BRAC poultry is the major player processing 5,000 chickens per day and supplying to major fast-food joints including KFC, BFC, and CFC. Other major players include CP Group, Kazi Group, Aftab Poultry, Paragon, and United food.
The diagram below illustrates the value chain for a frozen chicken market where products are directly transferred from poultry firms to dressing facilities for onward processing. Once processed, the dressed chickens are packaged and stored in a chilled warehouse; subsequently moving to the endpoint for sales.
Apart from the few imported brands like McCain, Lamb Weston, Doux, and a range of imported frozen goods from Al Kabeer Group, the local brands have penetrated the market on a large scale. Below is a snapshot of the market share.
Source: Golden Harvest Primary Research
Though Golden Harvest and Rich have a high assortment of products and are the largest players, however Aftab, BRAC and CP are big players in the processed chicken market. Kazi has recently forayed into the market and time will tell whether they can successfully grab market share.
The frozen food sector shows promise considering steadily increasing per capita income, changing family structure (nuclear), and changes in taste and fashion. Although several large players have successfully penetrated the market, opportunities lie in outside Dhaka and Chittagong where the frozen chain is improving.
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