Religious Influences on Food Habits
The most populous region, Asia Pacific, is filled with a variety of religions including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Food manufacturers, brands and retailers have to learn to navigate this challenging landscape including these different religions and the eating habits that are associated with them in order to be successful. According to the 2017 Lifestyles Survey, 43% of Asian consumers agree that spiritual beliefs are an important part of life and therefore religious dietary restrictions are likely to affect their food consumption habits. 33% of Asian consumers also indicated they read nutrition labels before consuming any food or beverages. By clearly outlining ingredients on labels, food manufacturers, brands and retailers can help consumers make quick and informed decisions during purchase about whether certain products are compliant to their religious needs.
Dietary restrictions should not only be taken into consideration by food manufacturers, brands and retailers but also by restaurants. There has already been an increase in the number of global food chains offering halal food as they start operating in the Asia Pacific region, some of these include KFC, Nando’s, Subway and Burger King.
Fitness Enthusiasts Drawn to Health Supplements
Consumers in Asia Pacific show more positive attitudes towards exercise routines compared to other regions. According to the 2017 Lifestyles Survey, 32% of Asian consumers participate in at least 3 types of exercise each week, including cycling, intense physical exercise, individual sports, team sports and yoga.
With increased awareness about healthy living and the benefits of health supplements, consumers in Asia Pacific are actively including them as part of their diet with more than half of Asian consumers indicating they take health supplements or vitamins at least weekly. Calcium, multivitamins and vitamin C are top 3 health supplements that Asian consumers are seeking. Vitamins and dietary supplement manufacturers, brands and retailers have a high growth potential in Asian markets, especially as Asia Pacific is predicted to be the region with the highest total consumer spend by 2023, overtaking North America.