Frozen Food Exports from India

Frozen Food Exports From India, Citrus Freight

The frozen food export from India is a burgeoning industry, with the frozen meat business and frozen vegetables export from India leading the charge. Key players, known as frozen food exporters or specifically frozen food exporters in India, are tapping into the growing India frozen foods market. The Indian frozen foods market, which includes the frozen fruits and vegetables market in India, is witnessing significant growth. Companies engaged in frozen food exporting are diversifying their portfolio of food products exported from India, contributing to the expanding frozen food market in India.

Frozen ready-to-eat food suppliers are meeting the rising demand for ready-to-eat Indian frozen food. These frozen food products are becoming increasingly popular globally, enhancing Indian food exports. Entrepreneurs exploring how to start a frozen food business can capitalize on the high demand for frozen food export and the thriving frozen food industry in India. The sector includes lucrative segments such as frozen chicken export from India and other meats.

New entrants can learn how to start frozen food business strategies by examining the frozen food profit margin and understanding the profit margin in vegetable export business. The success frozen quality maintained by Indian exporters is a significant factor driving the frozen food market size in India. As the India frozen food market continues to grow, the ready-to-eat food export from India remains a pivotal aspect of the overall frozen food business landscape.

Why Choose Frozen Food for Exports

Frozen food exports are thriving in India, contributing significantly to the country's food industry, with exports accounting for an impressive 50% of the sector's revenue. This growing segment includes ready to eat Indian frozen food, frozen fruits and vegetables, snacks, and non-vegetarian offerings.

The rise in the working population, coupled with busy lifestyles, has led 39% of young couples to opt for convenient food solutions, driving the demand for frozen foods. Adequate refrigeration facilities in retail stores have also played a pivotal role in supporting this growth.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of frozen foods as people sought convenient and readily available meal options during uncertain times.

Opportunity in Frozen Food Export from India and Market Size

Exporting frozen food from India presents a promising opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to tap into the global market. The demand for frozen food products is on the rise, both domestically and internationally, making it an attractive venture for those in the frozen meat business and beyond.

The local market boasts a healthy profit margin of 20% to 30%, enticing many frozen food exporters in India to explore international markets further. And rightfully so, as international markets offer even more substantial margins, averaging between 80% and 100%.

India's frozen food market is currently valued at an impressive $85.27 billion and is projected to witness remarkable growth, reaching an estimated $192.9 billion by 2024 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.7%. This growth trajectory aligns with the global frozen food market, which is valued at a staggering $260.68 billion.

Within the Indian frozen foods market, there is a vast array of opportunities, from frozen fruits and vegetables to ready-to-eat meals. Indian exporters have the chance to capitalize on this growing market by providing high-quality frozen food products to consumers worldwide.

Moreover, the frozen food industry in India offers various avenues for success, including exporting frozen vegetables from India, frozen chicken export from India, and supplying ready-to-eat Indian frozen food products to international markets.

The frozen food export industry in India is ripe with opportunities for growth and expansion. By capitalizing on the increasing demand for frozen food products both domestically and globally, Indian exporters can establish themselves as key players in the thriving frozen food market.

Government Incentives and Perks

Duty Drawback Scheme: 

Under this scheme, exporters can claim a refund of customs and excise duties paid on imported and domestically sourced inputs used in the production of export goods, including frozen food products.

RoDTEP scheme

Both manufacturer exporters and merchant exporters (traders) can avail of the benefits under the RoDTEP scheme. Unlike some other schemes, there is no specific turnover threshold required to qualify for RoDTEP benefits. It's important to note that products intended for re-export are not eligible for these benefits under the scheme.

Interest Equalization Scheme

The Interest Equalization Scheme for Pre and Post-Shipment Export Credit extends its benefits to the following categories of exporters:

Manufacturer exporters falling within the specified 416 four-digit tariff line.

Merchant exporters operating within the specified 416 four-digit tariff line.

All exporters are categorized as micro, small, and medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

This scheme is designed to support these groups in accessing export credit on more favorable terms.

Frozen Food Manufacturing Process:

The frozen food manufacturing process is a systematic series of steps designed to ensure the quality, safety, and longevity of frozen products.

Ingredient Selection: The process begins with the careful selection of high-quality ingredients, including vegetables, fruits , meats , and other components sourced from reputable suppliers.

Preparation and Cutting: Ingredients are washed, peeled, and prepared according to specific product requirements. Cutting and sizing may also take place to create uniform pieces.

Blanching: Many vegetables undergo blanching in hot water or steam to preserve color, texture, and flavour. This step also deactivates enzymes that can lead to spoilage.

Freezing: After blanching (if applicable), ingredients are rapidly frozen at extremely low temperatures, usually around -18°C (0°F) or lower. This ensures small ice crystal formation, minimizing damage to cell structures, and maintains product quality. Precooling for Frozen Cargo and Storage Point: When preparing for the transport of frozen cargo, the reefer container should be pre-cooled to the lowest required temperature. Frozen items are loaded into the front of the container first to ensure they remain at the required low temperature throughout the journey. This maintains the quality and safety of the frozen products.

Packaging: Frozen food products are packaged in various forms, such as plastic bags, trays, or containers. Proper packaging is essential to prevent freezer burn and maintain freshness.

Quality Control: Rigorous quality control measures are in place to inspect product quality, including texture, taste, and appearance. Any substandard items are removed from the production line.

Consumer Packaging: The final product packaging is designed for consumer convenience, often including cooking instructions and nutritional information. Distribution: Frozen food products are transported in refrigerated trucks or containers to ensure they remain at the required low temperatures during transit.

How to find a supplier for frozen food exports from India

When looking for suppliers to export frozen food from India, consider the following steps:

Market Research:

  • Begin by conducting extensive market research to identify the types of frozen foods you want to export and your target markets.
  • Research the demand for specific frozen food products in your target countries to understand market trends.

Trade Shows and Expos:

  • Attend international food trade shows and expos. These events provide an excellent opportunity to meet potential suppliers and assess the quality of their products.

Online directories and B2B platforms:

  • Utilize online directories and B2B platforms that specialize in connecting buyers with suppliers. Some popular platforms include Alibaba, IndiaMART, and TradeIndia.

Trade Associations and Chambers of Commerce:

  • Contact industry-specific trade associations and chambers of commerce in India. They can provide recommendations and connect you with reputable suppliers.

Supplier Verification:

  • Verify the credentials and reputation of potential suppliers. Check for certifications related to food safety and quality, such as ISO and HACCP.

Sample Orders:

  • Request samples of the frozen food products you plan to export. This allows you to evaluate product quality and packaging.

Supplier Visits:

  • If possible, visit the facilities of shortlisted suppliers in India. This provides an opportunity to assess production processes, storage facilities, and quality control measures.

Establish an effective logistics setup:

To ensure successful frozen food exports from India, it's crucial to establish a reliable logistics system.

Collaborate with experienced freight forwarders:

When it comes to exporting frozen food, partnering with experienced freight forwarders is essential. Choose forwarders with expertise in handling perishable goods, just like frozen food. Prioritize those with a proficient team capable of ensuring on-time shipments. Look for forwarders offering consultation, support, and a seamless shipping experience. Prompt pricing and excellent service quality should be your priorities for a smooth export process. Seek forwarders with a positive reputation and a strong online presence in the industry.

Develop a comprehensive pricing strategy:

Craft a comprehensive pricing strategy that provides accurate CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) quotes for your frozen food shipments. Consider using tools like the Citrus app, which offers access to instant CIF quotes and updated vessel schedules.

For your frozen food export needs from India, Citrus Freight stands as an excellent choice, particularly for managing the intricacies of perishable logistics. With our experienced team, customer-centric approach, efficient pricing methods, and solid industry reputation, we are ready to be your partner for successful frozen food exports.

Remember that informed product choices, a robust supply chain, and partnerships with reliable collaborators are key to a prosperous frozen food export venture.

Essential Documents for Frozen Food Export

Exporting frozen food products from India requires several essential documents to ensure compliance with regulations and quality standards. These documents include:

Import-Export License: An official import-export license is a basic requirement for engaging in international trade. It authorizes exporters to conduct business across borders.

FSSAI License: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) license is vital for exporting food products. It certifies that the food products meet the required safety and quality standards.

Product Approval Certificate: In some cases, particularly for unique or specialized food products, a product approval certificate may be necessary to demonstrate compliance with local regulations.

The permit from the Ministry of Agriculture (if applicable): If your frozen food products contain fruits and vegetables, you may need a permit from the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure compliance with agricultural regulations and phytosanitary standards.

  • The permit from the Ministry of Animal Husbandry (if applicable):
  • Country of origin certificate
  • Import-export code
  • FSSAI license
  • Bill of entry

End-use declaration

Shelf Life Information: While not a formal document, providing detailed information about the shelf life of your frozen food products is essential. Importers and authorities in the destination country may require this information to ensure compliance with food safety standards.

Keeping these documents up-to-date and in accordance with both Indian and importing country regulations is crucial. Requirements may vary depending on the destination country and the nature of the frozen food products being exported. It's advisable to seek guidance from trade associations, export promotion agencies, or legal experts with expertise in international trade to ensure you have all the necessary documentation for your specific export scenario.

Finding International Buyers for Frozen Food

Expanding your frozen food export business means finding international buyers . This opens up new markets and opportunities for your products.

Top 10 Importing Countries for Frozen Food from India

  1. China 
  2. United States
  3. Germany
  4. Japan
  5. France
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Netherlands 
  8. Italy
  9. Korea
  10. Hong Kong

How to Find an International Buyer for Frozen Food

Expanding your frozen food export business requires a strategic approach to locating international buyers. This involves market research, networking, participating in trade events, and leveraging online platforms. Identifying potential buyers who align with your product and quality standards is a critical step in the process.

Pro Tips for Finding Buyers:

Enhance your search for buyers with effective marketing and promotional strategies. Here are three essential steps to consider:

1. Invest in Online Visibility: Boost your online presence in the global market by investing in search engine optimization (SEO). This ensures that potential buyers can easily find your frozen food products online.

2. Build a Strong Brand: Focus on establishing a strong brand presence from the outset. Invest in social media marketing to create a robust online identity, which can attract and engage potential buyers.

3. Explore Networks: Customs House Agents (CHAs) often have extensive networks of buyers. Don't hesitate to seek their referrals to connect with potential buyers interested in your frozen food.


Exporting frozen food products presents exciting opportunities to meet global demand. By understanding the benefits, refining your sourcing, managing logistics, and building relationships with buyers, you can navigate this journey successfully.

For seamless frozen food exports, consider strategic locations like Gujarat and Maharashtra, with key cities such as Ahmedabad and Vadodara playing pivotal roles. Additionally, explore global markets like the US, Russia, and the Gulf region to diversify your export footprint.

Citrus Freight is committed to supporting your frozen food exports. We offer reliable ocean freight services customized for perishable exporters like you. With a vast network of over 100 pickup locations across India and global networks across the world, we're dedicated to your success.