In Asia, the Future of Food

In Asia, food demand is surpassing wage growth, owing to the fact that much of that growth is in disposable income. Consumers all around the region are updating their lifestyles by looking for more variety, novelty, and higher-quality food options. Customers in wealthier markets place a larger emphasis on health and quality, whereas consumers in middle- and lower-income areas are moving beyond price-based purchase decisions, with many willing to try new brands and products.

Animal protein and dairy

The demand for animal protein and dairy in Asia is skyrocketing, with China leading the way. Demand is surpassing domestic supply in many Asian countries (with others, like Singapore and Hong Kong, having none at all), resulting in growing imports. Whether you sell raw, packaged, or processed goods, demand will continue to rise in the coming years. Demand is already robust in Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong, with nations like China, Malaysia, and Indonesia exhibiting great long-term growth potential.

Health foods

Consumers in Asia are increasingly interested in health meals and beverages. People desire higher quality food, whether it’s low-cost, mass-market, or premium, to help them live healthier and more fulfilled lives. Top health items range from dried fruit and nuts to snacks and ready-to-eat packaged meals that are reduced in salt, fat, and sugar and greater in overall nutritional value.

Organic, environmentally conscious, and ethically produced

These are already well-known in North America and Europe, but they have only lately begun to acquire traction in Asia. This is partly due to low salaries, which prioritize cost and basic nutritional and caloric value over other considerations. As people’s income has grown, so has their interest in and understanding of how food is sourced, produced, and the impact it has on people and the environment. Through 2022, demand for such items in Asia-Pacific is predicted to expand at a rate of over 20% CAGR, with substantial growth expected thereafter.

These macro-trends in Asian consumer demand and food preferences create an appealing opportunity for both major and small brands to offer healthier solutions that fit into modern—often urban and convenience-oriented—positive lifestyles. While environmental and socially responsible businesses and goods are still making inroads in many Asian markets, they will be well-positioned to meet consumer needs in the long run.