ASEAN soft drink reformulation: Coca-Cola highlights rising post-pandemic regional demand for healthier options
Beverage giant Coca-Cola has observed a rise in demand for beverages with zero-sugar and reduced-sugar formulations in the South East Asian region, which became even more pronounced after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The firm says this was driver behind the launch of new reformulated recipes for several of its most-popular products.
Although the sugar-reduction trend was already on the rise in the soft drinks industry even before COVID-19 hit, the pandemic has had a significant impact on consumers examining their health and lifestyles, and thus their food and drink intake, leading to a further increase in demand for healthier beverage options.
“Consumers [have been] taking their health more seriously during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the trend towards healthier options as more [they] are aware of the food and beverages they are consuming, while also adopting healthier lifestyles,” Coca-Cola Singapore and Malaysia Marketing Manager Rustam Gabaydullin told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Flexible approach: Nestle Oceania taps family favourites for first ‘flexitarian’ range of MAGGI recipe bases
Nestle Oceania’s first flexitarian product range, a series of recipe bases launched under the MAGGI brand, is tapping into family favourite dishes to appeal to consumers looking to reduce meat intake.
The MAGGI range, dubbed Your Meal Your Way, comprises of seven recipe bases common to Australia and New Zealand consumers including Cottage Pie, Chow Mein, Chilli Con Carne, Mexican Nachos, Bolognaise, Cheesy Lasagne and Smoked Paprika Burrito.
“We opted to stick with tried and tested recipes for this range as [our research showed] that chicken dishes (60%), spaghetti bolognese (55), and stir fry (54%) are among the most popular meals cooked at home, [and] most parents were looking for products [enabling them to] make a meal quickly (59%), that are easy to make (55%) and can please fussy eaters (43%),” Nestle Head of Marketing - Foods, Nicole Fox told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Shaking up coffee: Herbalife targets younger consumers with healthier formulation and snack positioning
Herbalife has positioned its new APAC-focused iced coffee range as both a healthier alternative and as an ‘ideal snack’ product, in hopes of appealing to younger, health-conscious consumers.
According to data from Herbalife, APAC consumers’ coffee consumption is expected to be the fastest-growing worldwide between now and 2024, with research firm Research and Markets also postulating that the global coffee market will grown by 5.32% between 2020 and 2024.
“The coffee category is a key staple in the daily routines of people around the world, and whose consumption continues to grow, especially here in Asia Pacific,” Herbalife APAC Marketing Vice President Adam Pineda told FoodNavigator-Asia.
The Namdhari Group in India has ventured into the healthy snack realm with the launch of the Think Snack brand for sale in its own retail channels.
According to Navnath Pohkar, assistant manager of NPD, snack division at Namdhari Agro Fresh, Think Snack was a natural progression to offer ‘safe-to-consume yet guilt-free foods’.
“A lot of our ideas have to do with bridging a healthier lifestyle for customers. For instance, when we started salad bars in our supermarkets, it was innovative for our city back then.
“Think Snack is kind of an evolution of that, we wanted to bring a healthier way of snacking because not everyone wants to eat fried chips and calorie-rich snacks.”
Health food expansion: Openway Food tapping Aussie-made and organic credentials for Asia growth – CEO interview
Newly established Australian firm Openway Food, which owns health food brands such as Red Tractor and Raise the Bar, is aiming for further distribution in Asia after gaining traction in China and the US.
Co-founded by Andrew Loader, Openway has acquired three companies Annex Foods, Table of Plenty and Metro Foods, and their respective consumer brands in the snack bar, cereal, and protein powder category. The five brands are Red Tractor, Raise the Bar, Hammer & Tuffy’s, Keep it Cleaner and Table of Plenty, totalling some 150 SKUs.
Loader, who was previously at Mars Incorporated for more than 20 years, said Openway was established to help brands and retailers navigate the fragmented nature and lack of large multi-national FMCG investment in the health food industry.
“On the brand side, we could see that many entrepreneurs hit a ceiling without an ability to continue to invest in operations, distribution and innovation.
“On the retailer side, they were dealing with a fragmented supplier base made up of many small suppliers.”