'Health and affordability': Tyson confident that APAC protein demand will continue to grow

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Tyson is confident that Asia Pacific consumers will continue to show strong demand for various formats of both animal and plant protein-based products. ©Getty Images
Tyson is confident that Asia Pacific consumers will continue to show strong demand for various formats of both animal and plant protein-based products. ©Getty Images

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Protein specialist Tyson is confident that Asia Pacific consumers will continue to show strong demand for both animal and plant protein-based products, with health and affordability emerging as more important drivers than ever.

Tyson specialises in various forms of prepackaged poultry products from whole grilled chickens to nuggets as well as its most recent venture into plant-based snacking items with its First Pride range.

Despite the recent downturn seen in the plant-based category in Asia, based on Tyson’s long experience in both the animal and plant-based protein sectors the firm remains confident that there is a strong case for all of these products moving forward.

“We can definitely say that protein as a category has become pretty well-established and developing in this part of the world and consumers are now well-aware of its importance so it is certainly not going away,”​ Tyson spokesperson and previous VP Commercial APAC Lee Yeong Sheng told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“Over the past couple of years we obviously saw plant-based picking up, but over and above this category we actually saw a lot of interest from consumers in healthier products.

“So plant-based products are a part of this of course, but this demand has also had a major impact on our animal-based products where there has been an accelerated increased demand in roasted, grilled and even steamed products across the region.

“At the end of the day, it is really down to the taste and quality of these products, because it is still food that needs to actually be tasty for consumers.

“The other thing is obviously from a value standpoint, where consumers want a good- tasting product which is not too prohibitive or too expensive, from a cost perspective.”

In order to stand out in a market as competitive as APAC, Lee also highlighted the importance of continued product innovation in tandem with current consumer trends, no matter how basic or traditional a food category may seem.

“We know that protein is continuing to grow as the population and household incomes increase, and this is particularly so in this part of the world,”​ he said.

“The challenge for companies like us is to actually see how we can constantly come up with innovative, good tasting, good quality products, but yet making sure that it's actually accessible and of value to consumers.

“One aspect Tyson APAC is taking a close look at is the development of products that are actually relevant to local consumer preferences and taste, this is one thing which is going to be a priority; and the other areas are also healthier options and more affordable options as well.”

Tyson APAC has a range of brands under its belt to cover all these needs, from its mainstay Tyson brand to the First Pride animal-based and plant-based brands, and its affordable poultry brand Kai Pan Sook.

Growth still on the books

Although Tyson is already a household name when it comes to poultry products, the firm believes that there is still a great deal of potential for growth in the APAC region.

“Currently we already have our products present across multiple markets and obviously the Southeast Asia region markets such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore continue to be a priority, as this is where we've invested in building our brands and developing good quality products,”​ he added.

“So this will continue to remain a focus, but at the same time we're actually also looking at other strategic priority markets and assessing where there's demand here in this region.”

As for the plant-based category, Tyson will continue to remain a part of this space as the firm sees it as a good complement to its portfolio.

“Alternative protein is not going to be a competitor [but] more of a complementor, because these days we're actually seeing more and more consumers who are flexitarians, wanting normal protein but also wanting something different such as plant-based from time to time,”​ he said,

“So I actually see these coming hand-in-hand instead of cannibalising or competing against each other.”

 

We will be taking a closer look at Protein Trends in our upcoming Growth Asia Summit 2024 this July – find out more about how you can join us here​.

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