Consumers pivot to healthier foods
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) food and beverage industry witnessed significant growth and transformation in recent years, driven by evolving consumer trends, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic subsides, consumers’ purchase decisions are being shaped by health concerns and sustainability amid climate change despite soaring inflation and stunted economic growth. Thus, as consumers recover from the hard-hit pandemic, preference for healthier choices, sustainable options, and convenience-driven lifestyles have emerged as key trends in the APAC region.
Health and wellness
In line with global trends, health and wellness has become a paramount concern for APAC consumers. Increasing awareness about the impact of diet on overall wellbeing has led to a surge in demand for healthier food and beverage options. Consumers are actively seeking out products that are natural, organic, low in sugar, and free from artificial additives. They are also displaying a growing interest in functional foods and beverages, such as probiotics, prebiotics, and superfoods, which are perceived to offer specific health benefits. Moreover, the pandemic fueled awareness of the need to acknowledge and tackle mental health challenges. Companies are trying to cash-in on this trend through new better-for-you products. For instance, Kirin Holdings launched its new functional ingredient, beta-lactolin, in beverage, yogurt, and supplements forms in Japan to “support the maintenance of memory, which declines with age”. It targets those who are healthy but have started to become forgetful or slower in making decisions due to the natural aging process.