Big brands bonanza: The Top 10 most-read APAC food and beverage brands stories in 2022
Collaborating with competitors: Nestle, Coca-Cola and Unilever among major brands uniting to boost recycling in Malaysia
Major brands such as Nestle, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, F&N and Unilever joined forces early on in 2022 to drive the sustainability agenda in Malaysia, via an alliance to tackle plastic food and beverage packaging concerns.
The Malaysian Recycling Alliance Berhad (MAREA) wants to reach a minimum recycling rate of 25% of packaging volumes by 2025.
MAREA is Malaysia’s first-ever Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP) association, and is chaired by Nestle Malaysia CEO Juan Aranols. Its members comprise of 10 well-known FMCG brands in Malaysia - Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Dutch Lady Milk Industries, Etika Group of Companies, F&N Malaysia, Mondelēz International (Malaysia), Nestlé Malaysia, Spritzer, Tetra Pak Malaysia and Unilever Malaysia.
Penfolds goes ‘phygital’: Wine giant turns to high-tech sensory upgrades to boost retail purchases
Wine giant Penfolds turned to high-tech sensory upgrades in its Singapore in-store displays as it strives to drive sales in the absence of wine sampling opportunities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
With sampling and tasting becoming near-obsolete in stores after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region, products that depend on sensorial experiences to attract consumers such as wine had to find entirely new ways to draw in consumers.
According to Penfolds, research has shown that 40% of two in five shoppers planning to make wine purchases ultimately leave stores without a bottle, and although a shopper may spend an average of four minutes browsing wine shelves, some 32% of shoppers found information on the wines and the flavour profiles lacking.
This led the firm to believe that consumers were experiencing a distinct lack or gap in their wine-shopping experience, thus working to innovate what it calls ‘phygital’ in-store displays to improve this shopping experience.
Supply struggles: Ferrero Group’s main nut source in Turkey at risk of collapse due to weather crises
The Ferrero Group’s main hazelnut supply chain in Turkey has been facing major risk of collapse due to climate changes and erratic weather conditions having badly affecting hazelnut production, which would have an impact on well-known brands from Ferrero Rocher to Nutella.
Turkey has been subject to erratic, unpredictable weather conditions and natural disasters including droughts, floods and forest fires over the past few years, which has taken a toll on the country’s hazelnut production and supply.
“Turkey is the global supplier and exporter for some 82% of hazelnuts – This means that an immense number has to be produced each year in order to meet global demand, [but weather conditions and natural disasters have led to] many of the hazel flowers in Turkish farms failing to bloom over the past few years, leading to a decline in growth,” stated the authors of the report highlighting this, from consultancy firm CIA Landlords.
Beat it: AB InBev India targets 10% energy drink market share with launch of world-first Budweiser product
Beer giant AB InBev has set its sights on conquering the energy drink market in India with its world-first Budweiser Beats product, setting an ambitious target of capturing 10% of total market share by 2025 despite it being a completely new sector.
AB InBev is best known for its beer brands, owning many well-known names such as Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois in India, but made the decision early on this year to branch out into the energy drinks segment, a completely new market for it not just in India but globally.
“Budweiser Beats is the first non-alcoholic energy drink from Budweiser globally with India the maiden country for this launch,” AB InBev India New Business Development Director Sivasubramaniam S told FoodNavigator-Asia.
The spice is right: Nestle Malaysia highlights how hot flavours are driving instant noodle popularity
Nestle Malaysia has revealed how instant noodles have successfully sustained continued popularity throughout the pandemic and beyond due to in-home consumption trends, and long-time favourite brand MAGGI’s ability to innovate within the spicy flavours space.
MAGGI has been a household name in Malaysia – and most of Asia – for decades when it comes to instant noodles, and the brand has also successfully managed to retain its popularity and innovation even throughout the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nestle Malaysia confirmed the instant noodles sector saw a boost during the lockdown period due to the product’s inherent convenience and the rise of in-home consumption locally.
“With prolonged lockdowns and social-distancing rules, there has been increased in-home consumption of convenient food such as instant noodles, as more consumers work and study from home,” Geetha Balakrishna, Business Executive Officer, MAGGI, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad told FoodNavigator-Asia.
‘Richer and sweeter’: Yili reveals growth strategy to conquer SEA dairy market following Indonesian factory launch
Chinese dairy giant Yili revealed its growth strategy for the South East Asian dairy market, claiming that products need to have a richer and sweeter taste profile to entice consumers.
Apart from its ice cream plant in Indonesia, the firm also purchased Thailand’s largest domestic ice cream manufacturer Chomthana for US$80.56mn, together establishing what Yili calls its ‘dual centres’ in South East Asia.
“These dual centres are meant for us to expand directly into the region and enhance our capabilities to serve and respond to local markets – the two plants will develop and produce localised and differentiated products to cater to the needs of local consumers, e.g. Cremo brand ice cream in Thailand and Joyday brand ice cream in Indonesia which is Yili’s first international ice cream brand,” Yili Assistant President Dr Yun Zhanyou told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Go dark or go home: CP Foods cultivated meat partner Future Meat Technologies believes cracking dark meat production is answer to Asian growth
CP Foods’ partner in cultivated meat production Future Meat Technologies (FMT) believes that successfully cracking the code to cultivated dark meat production is the sector’s best solution to conquering Asia Pacific consumers, due to an unusual fascination with these products in this region.
Dark meat refers to cuts of meat that have more myoglobin, a protein that contains iron and gives the meat that darker colour. These cuts are usually muscles that are used more and need more oxygen, hence the need for more iron, such as chicken or turkey drumsticks and thighs.
“In Asia, there is a very strong fascination with dark meat, a fascination that does not exist in other markets such as the United States or Europe, and this is likely linked to a demand for a certain texture and also stronger flavours,” FMT Founder and President Professor Yaakov Nahmias told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Passing the taste test: Nestle chief on strategies for success with healthy product innovation
Maintaining price parity and maximising taste are two key priorities when formulating healthy and plant-based products, according to exclusive insights revealed by Nestle’s Malaysia and Singapore CEO Juan Aranols.
Aranols was the keynote speaker at the opening of our Positive Nutrition Interactive Broadcast Series earlier this year.
He argued that innovative, healthy food should be accessible and affordable to the larger community, saying that: "We need to be able to create healthy formulation and available nutrition for consumers from all walks of life."
Taking it easy: Heineken says experimentation and ‘easy-drinking beers’ fast-growing Asia trends
Beer heavyweight Heineken has highlighted increased experimentation and what it calls ‘easy-drinking beers’ as fast-growing category trends within the alcoholic beverages sector in Asia.
According to Heineken APAC Marketing Transformation Director Sarah Maddock, ‘easy-drinking beers’ have garnered an increasing consumer base in Asia over the past several years, and the firms expects this to increase further.
“One of the fast growing areas [in beer] is easy-drinking beers, which are also typically lower in alcohol as these can accompany food well especially on occasions where consumers are looking for an easy choice,” Maddock told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Change is in the wind: Nestle Australia highlights plant-based portfolio and 100% renewable energy switch
Nestle Australia has highlighted its switch to 100% renewable energy for all operations as well as its rapidly broadening plant-based product portfolio as key initiatives to help the firm to reach its 2050 net zero emissions goal.
The firm has converted all its operations – across all of its six Australian factories, two distribution centres, three corporate offices, 20 retail boutiques, and laboratory – to function using only renewable energy, and decided that it will be solely focusing on wind energy for this.
“We have made our first renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) with CWP Renewables, which is for 10 years – CWP Renewables’ Crudine Ridge and Sapphire wind farms in NSW will generate enough electricity to cover the electricity used across Nestle’s sites each year,” Nestle Oceania Director of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Margaret Stuart told FoodNavigator-Asia.