‘Urban health demand’ underpins Asian wholegrain and fibre market

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Healthy urban consumers in Asia underpin the wholegrain, high fibre market
Healthy urban consumers in Asia underpin the wholegrain, high fibre market
A burgeoning ‘urban demand’ for healthier foods is fast driving Asia Pacific’s wholegrain and high fibre foods market; set to hit US$6.8bn by 2012, according to report.

The Global Industry Analysts (GIA) report said Asia Pacific constitutes around 22.4% of the global market, pegged at US$4.7bn for 2012.

It detailed that this regional market is the fastest growing in the world, set to surge at a CAGR of 6.82% during 2009-2017.

“The increasing attention towards health among the upper and middle class consumers”​ in the Asia Pacific countries will fuel this growth, GIA said, and this “urban demand for value-added products” ​will continue to underpin the market.

Food manufacturers have as a result engaged in the development of “incorporating additional functionalities into their existing product ranges”​, GIA noted.

India suits wholegrain and fibres

The report pinpointed India as an ideal target market within Asia for manufacturers operating in the wholegrain and high fibre foods sector.

The country is “habituated to the consumption of whole grains, due to the extensive use of whole-wheat flour on a daily basis, which ensures a continuous demand for high-fibre wholegrain products,”​ GIA said.

The report showed that more than 50% of Indian consumers are regular purchasers of wholegrain, high fibre foods.

Nielsen data confirmed this as it found that 51% of Indian consumers regularly buy such products, in a survey.

Its findings also suggested that the trend towards wholegrain, high fibre foods in could be a diet choice, with 77% of urban Indians found to be actively cutting down fats in their diet.

Despite premium prices often associated with such products, GIA suggested that due to the nature of India’s consumption habits, manufacturers of wholegrain and high fibre foods will succeed in gaining traction in the country.

Healthy grains

Wholegrain products are the “latest fad”​ hitting the worldwide packaged foods market, GIA said, fuelled by “the rising consumer awareness levels about the benefits of wholegrain and fibre consumption with respect to digestive and cardiovascular health constitutes a major driving growth in the [global] market.”

The report suggested that higher investments in consumer education, marketing and product launches, has caused this shift in consumer perception and trends.

Manufacturers have responded to this and developed tasty, flavoursome and appealing wholegrain and fibre products, which has created a surge in the sector, it said.

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