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A particular area of growth and opportunity in the ASEAN market in recent years is beverage ingredients. The large population of this region, increasing disposable income, and a desire for a healthier lifestyle are all key consumer drivers.
Let’s take a look at the leading trends in beverage ingredients in the Asian region.
Consumers in the Asian region are increasingly more health conscious and are looking for products that fit in with this healthier, more active lifestyle. Since 2016, hydration has been a key factor in the beverage market which has led to a rise in bottled water, coconut water, and functional beverages. Soft drink producers have been paying attention to this trend by launching sports drinks and functional bottled water all focused on hydration, sometimes with particular reference to benefits before or after activity.
Indonesia has seen the most new product launches in the beverage market, with most key ingredients centered on health and hydration. Sugar taxes in countries such as Thailand have also pushed producers to use different beverage ingredients to create more sugar-reduced or sugar-free beverages, which has led to healthier beverages becoming more competitive and affordable.
In Southeast Asia clean labels are increasingly meaningful to consumers, with 20.9% of product introductions containing one or more natural or organic ingredients. Clean labels help establish trust, which is sometimes lacking in the ASEAN market as lack of confidence with large organisations is common.
Consumers’ understanding of ingredients is also on the rise. The positioning of additives and preservatives is well established, and in the Asian region terms such as organic are rapidly being adopted. However, simply using terms such as organic and natural no longer satisfy consumer needs as they seek more information on how, where, and by whom their ingredients and products are produced.
Speed and efficiency are certainly valued in the Asian region. The huge increase of convenient products to match a changing and busy lifestyle illustrates this, as food and beverage launches with on-the-go claims increased by 133% in the Southeast Asian region between 2012 and 2016.
However, as consumers seek a more balanced lifestyle, they are also pursuing more balanced food and beverage options. Products that have ‘slow’ claims such as ‘slow-releasing energy’ are increasingly popular. Mintel’s research has shown that there has been a 79% increase in Southeast Asian food and drink launches that include the word ‘slow’ in product descriptions in 2016, compared to 2012.
This year’s Fi Asia will tap into this lucrative sector of the Southeast Asian F&B industry with the launch of co-located show Beverage Ingredients. Bringing together leading suppliers showcasing the latest in beverage ingredients will help beverage manufacturers explore the latest innovations and trends shaping the market.