Trend Tracker: COVID-19 changes, dairy and health trends feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

COVID-19 changes, dairy and health trends feature in this edition of Trend Tracker. ©Getty Images
COVID-19 changes, dairy and health trends feature in this edition of Trend Tracker. ©Getty Images

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COVID-19 changes, dairy and health trends feature in this edition of Trend Tracker.

From convenience to conscious: Covid-19 pandemic leads to shift in snacking priorities - experts

Snacking has evolved​ from being a convenient and comforting experience before Covid-19 to a more food conscious and healthy activity during the pandemic, two market experts claim.

Before the pandemic, consumers looked at snacks as a comfort food with a convenience purpose, according to food technology platform Ai Palette and research firm Frost and Sullivan.

Nadiah Ghazalli, APAC consulting analyst of chemicals, materials & food at Frost and Sullivan said: “Before Covid-19, snacking kept us full between meals, and was also a meal replacement for busy professionals​.”

The pandemic exposed how important nutrition is for the body, especially when it comes to the immune system. People are more conscious of the type of food they consume."

China milk momentum: Growth in awareness attributed to public belief in immunity benefits

Local acceptance of milk and dairy products​ in China has rocketed over the past year, driven by some 96% of the population believing that dairy consumption can help improve immunity.

These findings were announced as part of the 2020 China Milk Quotient report, which was launched by the China Dairy Industry Association (CDIA), China International Exchange and Promotive Association for Medical and Health Care (CPAM) and Friesland-Campina.

Experts believe this large leap was linked to another survey finding, that currently 96% of the Chinese population believes that dairy can confer immunity-boosting benefits, particularly via the protein lactoferrin.

“The main immune-boosting component here is lactoferrin, which is unique to dairy and plays an important role in proving the immune system – a view that the public is gradually accepting,”​ said CPAM Executive Director Chen Wei in a live broadcast statement.

‘Better for you beverages’: How functional drinks are fizzing while carbonated and energy sectors fall flat

Both the APAC soft drinks and energy drinks markets are amongst the largest worldwide, but rising health and sugar reduction trends within the industry have dealt mighty blows​ to both beverage categories. In this edition of the FNA Deep Dive, we take a closer look at how beverage firms are innovating to survive these changes - or risk getting overtaken by newer players.Asia has always been a major consumer market for soft drinks, taking up two of the top three spots for revenues generated from soft drink sales worldwide - Japan came in second at US$51.6bn, and China third at US$37.2bn.

The traditional energy drinks market on the other hand has been a very dominant player in Australia, where it is considered a ‘lifestyle beverage’ for daily consumption, as well as in China which has seen rapid growth in the category over the past decade.

But as consumer awareness about health and sugar reduction rises in the region, both these drink categories are facing major challenges in their traditional product offerings which mostly need to be high in sugar to taste good.

Healthy opportunity: Turkey seeks to eliminate trans-fats in line with WHO goals

Turkey is seeking to eliminate trans-fat in its food supply​ with a new regulation stipulating that it can account for no more than 2g per 100g of fat.

It will apply to all foods intended for the final consumer and for supply to retail including bakery, confectionery, ready-to-eat meals and ice cream.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diets high in trans-fat are known to increase the risk of heart disease and premature death. In Turkey, 36.6% of all deaths in Turkey were associated to cardiovascular diseases.

In an official statement, Dr Toker Ergüder, National Professional Officer for Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-Course, at the WHO Turkey office said: “To prevent premature deaths, Turkey has shown great political commitment, by taking a mandatory approach to the elimination of industrially produced trans fats from the food supply. This will reduce exposure to artificial trans fats and increase the availability of healthier alternatives to reduce the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease​.”

Grocery sales to drive 5-6% Middle East food industry growth as dining out slumps post COVID-19

The GCC food and beverage market is expected to increase between 5 to 6% this year​, largely driven by retail sales amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditionally, retail accounts for about 70% of GCC’s F&B market, with hotels, restaurants and cafés (HORECA) accounting for the other 30%. Post-COVID-19, retail is expected to increase to 90%, while contribution of HORECA is expected to dip to 10%.

This is according to Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis on the processed F&B markets in Middle East.

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