8 food and drink products sparking innovation in Southeast Asia

April 28, 2016
4 min read

Earlier this year, Mintel predicted the key global food and drink trends that would be evolving within the food and drink market in 2016. Ahead of Food Vision Asia, Jane Barnett, Head of Insight ANZ, SE Asia and India, takes a look at how four of these trends are advancing the market and the products making the most of consumers developing appetites.

Healthier alternatives

Many consumers today recognise the balancing act of achieving a healthy diet – approaching two thirds of Indian consumers said they hoped to eat a healthier diet in 2015 and would definitely do this. As a result, consumers are increasingly looking for more vegetarian and non-dairy food and drink options. In China for instance, 40% of consumers say they are eating more non-animal sources of protein compared to a year ago.

3539967-0_dcddb75469bCoconut Plant Protein Drink, Vitasoy Zhi Wu Yang Guang, China

Coconut Plant Protein Drink is made using selected natural plant ingredients, and contains quality plant protein to make the drink more natural and healthier. It is rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium and sodium.

Sweet Corn Milk Drink, Farmmy, Thailand3414673-0_dcddb75469b

Farmmy Sweet Corn Milk Drink is made from natural ingredients and contains no added preservatives. This pasteurised corn milk drink retails in a 200ml bottle.

Based on a true story

Consumers have been romanced by the stories products are telling, and Southeast Asia is getting on board with the popularity of artisanal products. Almost half of the launches between 2012 and 2015 that contained the word “craft” in its description were launched in 2015 in Southeast Asia. “Craft” claims are used today by companies of all sizes. There are two main paths companies are using to promote the story behind the product – process and provenance.

3257755-0_dcddb75469bGruyère Cheese Flavoured Crispy Thin Layer Banana Chips, Opimus Banana Joe, Thailand

Opimus Banana Joe Gruyère Cheese Flavoured Crispy Thin Layer Banana Chips are all natural and hand crafted from two handpicked premium whole golden bananas that are gently cooked to allow the flavours to remain intact. It is free from trans fat, MSG, GMOs, preservatives, gluten and is made with natural oils and flavours. Gruyère is described as a sweet yet salty flavour with a complex creamy and nutty flavour accentuated with a pinch of nutmeg.

Full Cream Milk, Gippy Milk, Australia3488847-0_dcddb75469b

Gippy Full Cream Milk is said to be packed fresh within 24 hours in Australia using only fresh milk from farms and not recombined from milk powders, and stay for longer without refrigeration. The preservative- and added permeate-free milk is sourced from free grazing, grass-fed cows from the premium milk region of Australia.

Eat with your eyes

The visual appeal of food and drink is becoming more popular in our social media sharing-based culture. Finding inspiration in global foodservice offerings, brands can experiment with vibrant colors and innovative shapes to make packaged products worthy of consumer praise and social media posts. Brands are increasingly innovating with colour, shape and limited edition experimentation to appeal to the aesthetically-minded consumer.

3733301-0_dcddb75469bPink Pomegranate Ice Cream, Magnum, Malaysia

Magnum Pink Pomegranate Ice Cream comprises pomegranate flavoured ice cream with pomegranate sauce ripple, and is coated with pink chocolate.

Bitter Chocolate Biscuit, Kababya Sakusaku Panda for Men, Japan2969627-0_dcddb75469b

Designed for men, Kabaya Sakusaku Panda for Men Bitter Chocolate Biscuit is made with rich bitter chocolate, milk chocolate and cocoa biscuit.

Changing lifestyles

Across age groups, more consumers are living in single-person households or occasionally eating meals alone. These meals for one require right-sized products and packaging as well as promotions that further erode any stigma of dining solo. Two in five Chinese consumers aged 20-49 who have had prepared meals agree that prepared meals are ‘an ideal choice when eating alone’.

3210769-0_dcddb75469bTraditional Gravy, Gravox, Australia

Individual portions give products longevity. Gravox Traditional Gravy has been repackaged in a newly designed recyclable pack containing two 50g tubs and featuring the Facebook logo. The sauce is described as a rich and smooth traditional style gravy that is delicious with meat and vegetables.

Chicken noodles, Bakmi Mewah Rasa, Indonesia3926871-1_dcddb75469b

For the more affluent single person household Bakmi Mewah Rasa has launched into the Indonesian market a product focused on delivering a restaurant quality meal, in the ready-to-eat format. Seen as a luxury offering, it highlights key ingredients as well as reactions from local celebrities through social media networks. Bakmi Mewah Rasa Bakmi Ayam (Chicken Noodles) are described to be made with real chicken meat, delicious and safe to be consumed. The halal certified product retails in a 110g pack.

Jane Barnett will be presenting on ‘A market on the move: Key trends set to impact Asia’s food and drink market in 2016’ at Food Vision Asia, in Singapore on Thursday 28th April. For more information, please click here.


Jane Barnett
Jane Barnett

Jane Barnett is Head of Insights for South APAC at Mintel. She is responsible for the delivery of key insights to clients in both a servicing and consultative manner.

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