The food industry is emphasizing the importance of reducing waste, creating high-quality food and increasing shelf-life. This is potentially influenced by the UN’s message that the world is at risk of falling short of enough food to feed the expanding global population, which is anticipated to surpass 9.6 billion by 2050.

As per Foodbank statistics, nearly 45% of the world’s fruits and vegetables go to waste almost every year. This food loss costs the global economy about $990 billion annually. It is no surprise that reducing food waste is necessary for creating a Zero Hunger world and achieving the world’s Sustainable Development Goals. A strategic solution, in this case, is freeze-drying foods or lyophilization of foods. One of the businesses that has been gaining recognition in this regard is the freeze-dried fruits and vegetables market.

Why Will Turning to Freeze-Dried Fruits and Vegetables Be Profitable For Consumers and Food Enterprises?

Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables have several advantages:

  1. Reduced shipping costs: As most of the water content is removed, the fruits and vegetables become extremely lightweight, reducing the costs related to shipping and transportation.
  2. Longer shelf-life: Since the moisture levels in freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are almost zero, they can last longer and retain freshness, taste, and nutritional quality.
  3. Travel-friendly: These foods can also be labeled as fashion foods for hikers, travelers and boaters as they come in handy and are convenient for traveling. Their lightweight and portable attributes also influence sales in the travel foods industry.
  4. No added preservatives: Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables have no added preservatives or sugar as these are directly lyophilized post-harvest.

Numerous food companies are building on these benefits to introduce new products in the market. Sow Good Inc., for example, marked its debut in the freeze-dried fruits and vegetables industry with the launch of its first product line of freeze-dried fruit and vegetable smoothies and snacks. The Texas-based enterprise’s smoothie range features a blend of new and familiar flavors like Acai Relief, Berry Appeeling, and Mint To Be. The packaged snack portfolio includes single-ingredient vegetables and fruits such as apples, cherries and edamame.

The latest move by Sow Good is in line with its aim to help combat food waste with products that deliver increased shelf stability.

Freeze-dried Coffee Beans: A New ‘Healthy’ Companion During Work Hours

According to estimates rolled out by SBS Italian, the world consumes approximately 150 million bags of coffee annually, with Europe being one of the primary consumers.

"Europe accounted for 33% of the global coffee consumption in 2020-2021, recording nearly 3.244 million tons of coffee."—Centre for the Promotion of Imports.

Surging coffee consumption has opened new avenues for freeze-dried coffee beans as the lyophilization process of coffee beans helps coffee makers better preserve its properties. It also gives the consumers a high-quality cup of coffee like the ones served in big shops and outlets.

Apart from rich flavors, freeze-dried coffee boasts multiple benefits as follows:

  1. Supports reduced cholesterol levels as it has phytosterols that could prevent the intestine from absorbing LDL cholesterol.
  2. Improves physical resistance as it has essential amino acids, L-Arginines, in protein production.
  3. Protects the cardiovascular system as it is enriched with nutrients that could enhance the person’s blood flow.

Because of these merits, food and beverage companies are beginning to invest in coffee production through freeze-drying processes. To illustrate, Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) has partnered with GEA to expand instant coffee production in Brazil. As per reports, the latter has begun establishing a production facility to manufacture two complete ranges of freeze-dried coffee and spray-dried coffee for OFI.

Analyzing the Potential of Freeze-Dried Strawberry Powders 

Strawberries remain one of the most consumed fruits worldwide given their anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits. While fresh strawberries are still a go-to option for consumers, freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry powders have emerged as the next potential alternative for people. Some of the pivotal benefits that freeze-dried strawberry powder has to offer are protection against heart diseases, abating the chances of cancer and skin damage, and inhibiting neurodegenerative disease.

Speaking of protection against cancer, research demonstrates that freeze-dried strawberries have the potential to prevent esophageal cancer by slowing down the growth of precancerous lesions.

Apart from the nutrition benefits, freeze-dried strawberry powders are also standing out as a top choice for food and beverage companies. In 2020, researchers from the Agricultural Research Service concluded that freeze-dried strawberry powder can act as an exceptional stabilizer for ice-creams and other frozen dairy desserts. This could help the ice creams maintain their shape even after being at room temperature for a longer duration.

What’s Next for the Freeze-dried Fruits and Vegetables Market?

The future of the freeze-dried fruits and vegetables industry is quite promising, given the rising consumption of nutritional foods and awareness regarding food wastage. As the online space is gaining considerable traction in the era of digitization, burgeoning sales of freeze-dried fruits and vegetable powders through online retailers would influence the market dynamics through 2027.

The industry is also expected to witness a slew of advanced innovations, product launches and initiatives. Regions like Asia Pacific and North America are predicted to be the hotspots for freeze-dried fruits and vegetables industry in the coming years, subject to the rising health consciousness and growing urbanization.