Frozen Products

President: Giancarlo FOSCHI - OROGEL SURGELATI Soc. Coop. p.A. Secretary: Giorgio RIMOLDI

Frozen foods are food products that undergo a special freezing process called “deep freezing”, which makes it possible to exceed the temperature zone of maximum ice crystal formation at the necessary speed – depending on the nature of the product – and to continuously maintain the temperature, after thermal stabilisation, at -18 °C (or lower) throughout the product.
In terms of volumes, most frozen foods fall into 5 product segments: Vegetables, Potatoes, Fishery products, Pizzas and Snacks, Recipes. Frozen food products are distributed to the consumer through 3 main channels: Retail; Catering; Door to Door.

  • History
  • Sectorial Statistics
  • Members

    In 1928, American inventor Clarence Birdseye built the first industrial double-belt contact freezer, capable of significantly reducing cooling times. Birdseye, a native New Yorker, was also a naturalist, and while observing the fishing and food preservation practices common among the Inuit Eskimos (northern Canada), he realised a fundamental concept: by freezing freshly caught fish and then deep freezing it as quickly as possible, the organoleptic and nutritional qualities of the fresh product remained intact. On 6 March 1930, Birds Eye frozen food went on sale for the first time in a chain of stores in Springfield, Massachusetts, offering a selection of cod fillets and 17 other cuts of meat and fish, as well as fruit and vegetables such as spinach, peas (“as gloriously green as any you will see next summer”, as the advertisement promised), mixed berries, raspberries. They were met with huge success and have been extremely popular ever since.

    In Europe, the frozen food industry developed substantially after World War II, when frozen foods entered homes in the form of a wide range of products: meat, fish, vegetables, fruit juices, etc.

    In Italy, the frozen food culture arrived in the Sixties, gradually integrating with its most traditional styles of food thanks to the products being available year-round, quick to prepare, easy to store and economic, fully responding to the social, economic and cultural changes taking place in the country at the time. In 1960, the consumption of frozen foods in Italy only amounted to a few tonnes, whereas in 2018, more than 95.5 percent of Italian families were consuming frozen foods.


    Despite the particular 2020 economic situation, frozen products have seen an excellent overall development in the last year, growing by +5.5%. The figure is the result of a double-digit growth in sales in the retail channel (+12.1%) and the positive performance of door to door and e-commerce, which was contrasted by the more than substantial loss of volumes (-37%), and therefore of turnover, of the channel. The ability to respond to the different nutritional needs of consumers by offering quality and variety, while reducing waste, played a decisive role in a year characterized by natural transfer to domestic consumption and general uncertainty , both on the health and economic fronts, which has generated an unusual desire to build up stocks. The result was a growth in consumption, reaching 896,034 tons in 2020. Absolute leaders in the sector have confirmed the vegetables, but also the trend of fish products, frozen potatoes and ready / recipe dishes and meats are very positive.


    Frozen foods give consumers access to products that can, in many respects, be compared to the very best “fresh” foods, for two basic reasons:
    • the high-quality of the raw material, as a result of agreements between producers and companies in the frozen food sector;
    • the very short amount of time elapsing between the moment the product is obtained and deep freezing.
    Two examples: all vegetables are harvested at the moment of maximum ripeness: peas are frozen within two hours of harvesting; spinach between two and eight hours; fish is often deep frozen directly on the fishing boats, or transported to land at zero degrees, where it is processed and immediately frozen. This process ensures that frozen products retain not only their nutritional characteristics (vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, etc.), but also the structure and flavour of the original products.
    Once they reach a temperature of -18 °C (or lower), frozen products are subjected to the so-called “cold chain”: a series of strictly regulated procedures, regulations and techniques that ensure they are preserved in the best possible way, guaranteeing integrity and compliance with the highest safety standards throughout all the stages in the product’s life (transport, storage in the intermediate distribution structures, refrigerated counters in points of sale) until it is purchased by the final consumer.



    ASIAGO FOOD S.P.A. - Via S. Maria 7 - 35030 Veggiano (PD) -  

    BARILLA G. E R. FRATELLI S.P.A. - Via Mantova 166 - 43122 Parma (PR) -  

    BONDUELLE ITALIA S.R.L. - Via Trento - 24060 San Paolo D'Argon (BG) -  

    C.S.I. COMPAGNIA SURGELATI ITALIANA S.R.L. - Via Amsterdam 147 - 00144 Roma (RM) -  

    CAMEO S.P.A. - Via Ugo La Malfa 60 - 25015 Desenzano del Garda (BS) -  

    DR. SCHÄR S.P.A. - Via Winkelau 5 - 39014 Postal (BZ) -  

    EUROFOOD S.P.A. - Via Privata Tacito 12 - 20094 Corsico (MI) -  

    FROSTA S.R.L. - VIA PALESTRO 1 - 00185 Roma (RM) -  

    FRUTTAGEL Soc. Coop. p.A. - Via Nullo Baldini 26 - 48011 alfoNsine (RA) - 

    GELIT S.R.L. - Via Ninfina km 2+700  - 04010 Doganella di Ninfea (LT) -  

    GIAS S.R.L. - Via Nazionale snc - 87040 Mongrassano (CS) -  

    INDUSTRIE ROLLI ALIMENTARI S.P.A. - Via Nazionale 544 - 64026 Roseto degli Abruzzi (TE) -  

    ITALPIZZA S.P.A. - Via Gherbella 454/A - 41126 Modena (MO) -  

    ITALSUR S.R.L. - Contrada Pianura Vomano - Zona Industriale - 64024 Notaresco (TE) -  

    MARR S.P.A. - Via Spagna 20 - 47900 Rimini (RN) - 

    NESTLÈ ITALIANA S.P.A. - Via del Mulino 6 - 20090 Assago (MI) - 

    OROGEL SURGELATI Soc. Coop. p.A. - Via Dismano 2600 - 47522 Cesena (FC) -  

    PAN SURGELATI S.R.L. - Via B Franklin 1 A - C.P. 320 - 39055 Laives (BZ) -  

    PIZZOLI S.P.A. - Via Zenzalino Nord 1 - 40054 Budrio (BO) -  

    RONCADIN S.P.A. - Via Monteli 3 - 33092 Meduno (PN) -  

    SACPO - SOCIETÀ ABRUZZESE CONSERV. PROD. ORTOFRUTTICOLI S.P.A. - Via Sorrentino - 67050 Ortucchio (AQ) -  

    SPECIALITÀ DEI PICENI S.R.L. - Via del Commercio 128 - 63100 Ascoli PicenO (AP) -  

    SURGITAL S.P.A. - via Bastia 16/1 - 48017 Conselice (RA) -  

    VALSOIA S.P.A. - Via Ilio Barontini 16/5 - 40138 Bologna BO - 

    VIS INDUSTRIE ALIMENTARI S.P.A. - Via degli Ongari 37 - 30033 Noale (VE) - 

    This site uses cookies necessary for the operations outlined in the cookie policy. If you want to learn more or opt out of all or some cookies see the cookie policy. By clicking on the I Agree button you authorize the use of cookies.