As more women return to work to help with an expanding economy and turn increasingly to convenience foods, there has been a sharp increase in the demand for frozen foods in Japan, particularly for frozen vegetables.

According to the Japan Frozen Food Association, frozen food consumption rose by 5% last fiscal year compared to the previous year. Total consumption of frozen food in Japan was 2.28m tonnes in 2005.

The total of frozen vegetable imports in 2005 increased by 3.5% to a record 780,000 tonnes, mainly imported from China, while frozen spinach imports, again mostly from China, increased by 20% for the same period.