Trend Tracker: The latest food industry trends in ASEAN, flavours, Nestle health and wellness and more
ASEAN-5: Top trends for the ‘five fastest-growing economies’ in South East Asia
Food industry experts from the ‘ASEAN-5’ – the fastest growing economies in South East Asia – have lifted the lid on the key food and beverage trends driving growth in their countries, and the major challenges they continue to face.
Speaking at the ASEAN Food and Beverage Conference panel discussion at FI Asia, the experts hailed from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
The trends discussed were: Processing crops to maximise value, The rise of start-ups, Competing at a global level and the latest on ASEAN food safety and regulations.
Food manufacturers' awareness and understanding of sugar replacers growing in Saudi and UAE
Food and beverage manufacturers in the Middle East, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are beginning to acknowledge the need to reformulate around sugar reduction, according to Tate and Lyle.
Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia at the Gulfood Manfacturing show, Dominique Floch, regional sales and & technical director for speciality food ingredients Turkey, Middle East, and Africa, said consumer demand in the region was changing.
“Two three years ago, it is probably a vague concept. Now, there is a real trend, they do start to realise that sugar reduction (and using sugar replacers) is something that will happen, being driven or forced by consumer expectations,” he said.
“Three years ago, when we talk about sugar reduction with our clients, they will say: yes, it is interesting. Now they are saying: yes, it is very interesting, we still don’t know clearly when we will need it, but we know we will need it.”
Beyond just taste: Five emerging flavour trends taking shape in Asia
Flavour firms need to keep up with the rapidly changing tastes of consumers and take a holistic approach to innovation in order to secure success, according to the International Flavours and Fragrances (IFF), which has highlighted five emerging trends in Asia.
Understanding the shifts in consumer lifestyles was critical, Karen Stanton, the global marketing and branding director of flavours told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“For example, we are looking not just in ‘flavour of the month’, but we are looking at consumer lifestyle shifts - emerging themes that help us understand the most important challenges and opportunities shaping the consumer landscape,” Stanton said.
“Consumer needs are shifting more rapidly than ever before. In response, IFF has completely changed its approach to innovation with a technology pipeline that can address cross-category needs.”
Middle East food trends: Health, wellness and packaging taking centre stage
Food and beverages that promote health and wellness continue to shape the Middle East food manufacturing industry, said Mark Napier, who is the exhibitions director at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and show director of Gulfood Manufacturing.
“More consumers are paying greater attention to what goes into their bodies,” Napier explained in an interview with FoodNavigator-Asia.
Besides healthier and fresher options, product packaging is also affecting consumers’ decision to purchase.
The packaging industry in the Middle East is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% up to 2019, with Saudi Arabia and the UAE leading the region, according to a report by Alpen Capital.
Nestle China incubator reveals new products to meet health and wellness needs
The new Nestle China Incubator team has revealed a series of new products from soups to snacks, which are specifically designed to suit the tastes of local consumers and meeting current health and wellness trends.
The new products are ready-to-drink soups and drinks brand Xingshan, healthy snack box Green Bite and high-protein water Muscle Hunt.
Nestle China’s Incubator team was launched earlier this year, with the specific aim of expanding its local business as well as ‘filling gaps and responding quickly to China’s market needs in NPD’, said Nestle China Head of Innovation and Renovation, Justin Wang.