You may never have known that IQF foods have so many parallels with the keto industry. You also may not know what IQF technology is, or even what the low carb ketogenic diet is. The link is subtle but creates a world of opportunities for wholesalers and services catering to followers of the keto diet.
As obesity increases around the world, so does the demand for high-quality, low carb produce. Large companies continue to create low carb alternative food products. The individual consumer uses the local grocery store to source the raw ingredients for themselves. However, wholesale buyers can capitalize on this opportunity by purchasing keto ingredients in bulk, in order to provide their clients with yummy, healthy alternatives.
IQF stands for individual quick freeze. Products like berries, fruits, and vegetables are frozen separately from one another. The process is much faster than other freezing methods. This means that consumers can buy raw, “freshly frozen,” and low carb food products with a minimal amount of flavor and nutrition loss. This is perfect for the keto industry.
IQF is not the same as cold store freezing, which is used for freezing bulkier foods, like whole chickens, in large quantities. The disadvantage of cold store freezing is that the freezing process is a lot slower. This leads to large ice crystals developing on the food. These crystals compromise the cells within the food, causing it to deteriorate.
IQF, on the other hand, is a significantly faster freezing process. It minimizes ice crystals and stops the small foods from freezing together.
The result is a frozen whole food product that retains a high-quality look, taste and nutritional value once defrosted.
Keto is short for the ketogenic diet. First introduced in the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy, it has boomed in popularity in recent years as a weight loss diet.
The keto diet works by starving the body of carbohydrates, forcing it to burn its fat stores for energy. This metabolic state is known as ketosis. Dieters consume a ratio of 60% fats, 30% protein, and 10% carbohydrates.
This can be very effective for weight loss, when done right, as the body burns fat without the need for fasting or exercise. Keto is also believed to have many health benefits including a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes.
Because keto is a diet based on high-quality fats, dieters need to create a nutritional balance between fats and essential vitamins and minerals. This is why low carb fruit and vegetables are vital to health while maintaining a keto diet.
Berries, melons, peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, avocados, cheese and vegetables that grow above the ground are all keto-friendly that can be purchased as IQF foods.
Keto foods need to be free of added sugars. This rules out preserved tinned and dried fruit as an option for food services catering to the keto market.
Other freezing methods like cold store freezing result in drip loss. This is when the liquid in the product freezes and drips out during defrosting. This dehydration increases the sugar content of the product making it less effective for keto followers.
IQF products are an opportunity for wholesalers to provide high quality, preserved, keto-friendly ingredients to suppliers of keto products.
The global weight loss industry is worth $422.8 billion as of 2020. By 2024 the global ketogenic market will hit 12.35 billion dollars. This is an estimated compound annual growth rate of 5.3%
The most popular use of the ketogenic diet is weight loss. There is a correlation between global obesity and the increasing popularity of the keto diet. According to the World Health Organisation, worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975.
Europe and North America hold the highest market share for keto products and have the most consumers following the diet.
All of the major players in the keto industry are based in the united states. This makes sense considering it has the second-largest market share in the world. Keto continues to rise in popularity around the world, even in its least popular countries.
The alternative to pre-made keto products is to make keto meals from scratch. There is still an untapped opportunity for wholesalers supplying grocery stores, as most IQF products are low in carbohydrates, high in nutrition and convenient as a preserved food option.
Honorata Jarocka, a senior food and drink analyst from Poland, states that the faux carb trend has seen high carb foods, like pasta and rice, being replaced by nutritionally dense and low carb vegetables.
These two avenues are opportunities for wholesale food providers to tap into the keto market by providing IQF keto ingredients.
Transitioning to a keto diet is challenging as people need to adjust their meals to low carb alternatives. The convenience of a low-carb, high nutrient, preserved food helps make this transition easier for dieters.
As global obesity continues to rise, the keto industry expands to meet the demand for weight loss products. This creates an opportunity for wholesalers to meet the needs of food services that cater to consumers on the keto diet.
The ketogenic diet is growing in popularity all around the world with low carb food alternatives sold online and in brick and mortar stores.
The need for IQF products exists for individual consumers shopping at grocery stores as well as companies making low carb alternative products like keto pasta.
Wholesalers can contact us today for information on our IQF products and services.