Trend Tracker: COVID-19, sugar reduction, healthy snacking and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

COVID-19, sugar reduction, healthy snacking and more feature in this edition of Trend Tracker. ©Getty Images
COVID-19, sugar reduction, healthy snacking and more feature in this edition of Trend Tracker. ©Getty Images

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COVID-19, sugar reduction, healthy snacking and more feature in this edition of Trend Tracker.

‘Serious consequences’: ASEAN COVID-19 lockdowns heighten food supply fears

A lack of collaboration between ASEAN governments and the food industry could risk causing supply shortages across the region​ as several nations enforce COVID-19 lockdowns.

Of the 10 member states that make up the ASEAN group, six have already announced some form of COVID-19 related control measures and restrictions. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos either already have or have plans to implement lockdowns of some degree.

Amidst these control measures, food supply has been a major concern for all the countries involved, leading to many consumers panic-buying dry food staples such as rice and instant noodles despite assurances from the respective authorities that government food stocks are sufficient.

Cheap yet healthy: Sugar reduction catches up with price in driving Singaporean beverage purchases

Sugar reduction has caught up to become just as important as price promotion​ in the eyes of Singaporean consumers when it comes to making beverage purchases, according to a new report from Nielsen.

According to data from the Nielsen Share of Throat Syndicated Report 2019​, almost three quarters, or 74% of Singaporean consumers indicated they would ‘look out for promotion in stores to decide on the brand of beverage to purchase’​, demonstrating that price promotion continues to be an important driving factor in the beverage industry.

However, the survey also found that an equal percentage of consumers would ‘actively avoid beverages that are high in sugar’​ – showing that sugar reduction has now become as important as price promotion for Singaporeans when buying drinks.

Small but growing: Middle East healthy snack industry on an upward curve

The snack sector in the Middle East is soaring​ as consumers become increasingly time poor, with more healthy options also becoming increasingly popular, albeit from a low base.

According to Euromonitor, the Middle East snack market was valued at €6 billion (USD$6.4bn) in 2019. It is projected to grow 4% in volume and 14% in value by 2022.

In an interview with FoodNavigator-Asia​, Carlos Portales, regional marketing manager (MENAT) at Kerry Taste & Nutrition said this growth was coupled with a growing demand for more healthy products.

Booze-free growth imminent: Low-to-no alcoholic beverages set to boom in APAC

The low-to-no alcoholic (LNA) beverage industry is growing rapidly in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States, and as of late this trend appears to have also caught on in the APAC region​, with various major beverage firms launching their own versions.

The LNA industry in the Asia Pacific region has so far mainly been driven by increasing consumer health awareness coupled with growing demand in majority Muslim regions such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Factors including industrialisation, rising health awareness, coupled with large customer bases in China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia are expected to further drive APAC market growth.

Export challenge: China’s botanical firms in supply chain battle as global orders rebound for immunity ingredients

The COVID-19 epidemic has led to a rebound in demand for plant extracts with immune-boosting effects​, but a China industry expert has warned there are difficulties in exporting the goods due to logistic supply chain problems.

Shaanxi Plant Extract Association, which has over 100 member companies, said that although China had come to a market standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak, business started to pick up in early March.

Related topics Markets All Asia-Pacific

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