China saw its sales of baked goods negatively affected by disruptions to production and distribution as well as consumers’ limited access to retail outlets due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020, with the Asia Pacific region as a whole therefore seeing a similar slowdown in its growth rate. A swift recovery is expected from 2021, with positive growth rates predicted throughout the forecast period in real value terms.
Sales of baked goods were seeing healthy growth in most of the region’s countries over the 2015-2020 period, with China in particular helping to drive the overall Asia Pacific performance. Japan was an exception to this, with baked goods in this country hit by extremely hot weather, rising costs and lack of exposure to bread among schoolchildren, with this product, formerly a popular staple for school lunches in Japan, increasingly being replaced by rice-based lunches.
China saw a sharp slowdown in its baked goods sales growth in 2020 as the pandemic hit the country, affecting production, logistics, supply and distribution of baked goods in the country. Another general trend across much of the region in 2020 was consumers switching from unpackaged to packaged products due to hygiene concerns about the former.
Rising consumer health-consciousness and increasing interest in nutrition were already exerting a growing influence on demand in baked goods prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this trend is set to continue over the forecast period. However, with the economic impact of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 having significantly undermined consumer confidence and spending power, manufacturers’ efforts to target the rise in consumer health-consciousness will need to be balanced with the increase in price sensitivity among some consumers.
China will see strong growth in 2021, helping baked goods to see an impressive annual sales increase in Asia Pacific as a whole in this year. Further positive growth is expected over the rest of the forecast period, with the increasingly hectic character of modern urban living driving demand for convenient food options such as baked goods, which are well-suited to snacking.
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