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Asia leads demand for processed foods

Asia has the world’s fastest-growing retail markets for processed meat, poultry and fish, with India and Indonesia playing key roles across the categories.

This is revealed in new research from global market intelligence agency Mintel.

Indonesia is among the fastest-growing processed meat and poultry markets globally with a CAGR of 26.7 per cent between 2011 and 2015, followed by India (22 per cent), Vietnam (15.5 per cent) and China (13.9 per cent).

Mintel estimates Indonesia’s processed meat and poultry market reached a value of IDR16 trillion (US$1.2 billion) last year, while India is estimated to have reached a value of INR11 billion (US$171.7 million). Vietnam and China have estimated retail values of VND10 trillion (US$439.8 million) and CNY275 billion (US$39,924.5 billion) respectively.

Meanwhile, India is one of the fastest-growing retail markets for processed fish and seafood globally, growing at a CAGR of 24.9 per cent between 2011 and 2015, while Indonesia has seen a CAGR of 19.5 per cent. Mintel estimates India’s processed fish and seafood market reached a value of INR2422 million last year, while Indonesia is estimated to have hit IDR32 trillion.

For the five years, Thailand had a CAGR of 9.4 per cent for the processed fish and seafood market and a CAGR of 7.5 per cent for the processed meat and poultry market. In terms of retail market value last year, Thailand’s processed fish and seafood market is estimated to have reached THB65 billion (US$1.88 billion) and its processed meat and poultry market, THB60 billion.

More product launches

With a surge in innovation, both markets saw an 18 per cent increase in product launches last year compared to 2014, according to the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).

Asia Pacific was the second most active region globally last year in terms of processed meat, poultry and fish new product development, accounting for 24 per cent of innovation, led by China, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Mintel global food and drink analyst Patty Johnson says the need for convenience is the key driver behind the growth in India, Indonesia and Thailand.

“The demand for processed and ready-to-eat foods, particularly frozen foods, is growing across Asia as increasingly time-pressed consumers have embraced the convenience of the freezer and of microwave cooking.”

This is evident in a Mintel consumer study, which found that 43 per cent of metro Indonesians and 39 per cent of metro Thais 18 years and older tend to shop closer to home or work because of a lack of time.

Furthermore, 28 per cent of consumers in Indonesia and 22 per cent in Thailand prefer to buy smaller, bite-sized or convenient packs. The research also shows that 80 per cent of metro Thais and 69 per cent in Indonesia snack at least once a day – to the extent that 42 per cent in Thailand and 39 per cent in Indonesia say they eat snacks as a meal at times.

The demand for healthier snacks is also rising, with Asian consumers preferring a wider variety of high-protein snacks. The research shows that 40 per cent of metro consumers in Indonesia seek snacks that are high in protein, with the figure 32 per cent in Thailand.

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