Patty Johnson
Patty Johnson, is the Associate Director, Purchase Intelligence at Mintel. Patty brings insightful and forward-thinking strategies and tactics to Mintel’s Food and Drink client base.

Thai consumers are becoming more health aware as a result of government efforts to curb rising obesity in the country, as well as increased media coverage of the issue. While adult obesity is low in comparison to most Western countries, according to reports, the number of overweight individuals in Thailand has climbed in recent years.

Growing health awareness is driving healthier lifestyle choices. According to Mintel research, two-thirds of metro Thais plan to have a healthier diet in 2017, which for a significant portion of consumers includes eating more fruits or vegetables, reducing consumption of processed foods, and following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

CP Foods in Thailand this year announced its commitment to sell fresh fruit and vegetable products at its range of convenience stores (C-stores). This increased availability of fresh produce and new product development in fruit- and vegetable-based snack products in the C-store channel should be well received by Thais who are looking for healthier snack foods.

Fresh, natural and convenient fruit products appeal to snackers

Thai consumers are avid snackers, but they are increasingly looking for convenient, healthy snacks. Fruit- and vegetable-based snacks that deliver on naturalness, are low in sugar, high in fibre and are filling have scope for growth by targeting the C-store channel.

Convenience-related claims are increasingly prominent on fruit and vegetable products launched in Thailand’s C-store channel, driven by a sharp increase in ease-of-use claims. According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), convenience claims appeared on 30% of fruit and vegetable products introduced in the channel in the 12 months ending May 2017, compared to just 15% in the 12 months to May 2015.

Naturalness is also an increasing concern in the market and is being reflected on fruit and vegetable-based product launches, with naturalness-related claims appearing in over one in four products introduced in the 12 months to May 2017, compared to one in five products introduced in the 12 months ending May 2015.

What’s more, new research from Mintel reveals that a third of metro Thai consumers feel that products with natural attributes (eg organic, uses pure/naturally sourced ingredients) are worth a premium price—showcasing an opportunity for fruit and vegetable product launches with naturalness claims.

Further, a 2016 consumer study by Mintel found that almost half of metro Thai snackers look for snacks with low/reduced sugar content and high fibre, respectively, while one third look for snacks that keep them full longer. Positively for fruit and vegetable category NPD in Thailand, almost half of snacking consumers in Thailand consider snacks that contain fruit to be filling, while close to three in 10 consider snacks that contain vegetables to be filling.

Fruit-based snacks in Thai C-stores

Patty Johnson, Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, leverages her in-depth knowledge of consumer trends to bring keen, insightful and forward-thinking strategies and tactics to Mintel’s client base. She has built a strong reputation within the food industry by publishing articles in key publications and giving presentations at multiple food industry events and conferences.