Affordable nutrition trend gains further traction in APAC amidst dairy and RTE category growth

The demand for health, nutrition and deliciousness in food and beverage products has been on trend in APAC for several years now, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but in the more recent past the added element of affordability has also gained significant traction amidst rising economic and inflationary challenges.

“What this means is that food and beverage firms now have to cater to even more consumer expectations than before, and especially here in APAC we are seeing the rise of what is called the ‘and’ consumer,”​ Ingredion VP and General Manager ASEAN Ray Deidrick told FoodNavigator-Asia​ at the recent Fi Asia 2023 show in Bangkok, Thailand.

“This basically means consumers looking for products that are Healthy AND Tasty AND affordable, which calls for the manufacturers to need to invest in wider ingredient portfolios in order to combine formulations and create more ‘ands’ for them.

“The expectations differ across different consumer groups and in different product categories – consumers don’t always expect nutrition in every single item, but the ‘ands’ are what can really differentiate premium from mass market products.”

This is in tandem with the rapid rise of categories such as ready-to-eat (RTE) products in the region, which have the potential to integrate more ‘and’ elements into these, such as convenience and quality.

“RTE meals in particular have seen a fair bit of popularity here due to the convenience element in recent years after the pandemic, but at the same time consumers also want to feel that they are able to eat ‘real food’,”​ he added.

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