To try and control the spread of COVID-19, the Malaysian government introduced its Movement Control Order (MCO) on 18 March. Concerned about possible food shortages this resulted in consumers stockpiling a range of packaged food, including packaged leavened bread and packaged pastries.
Frozen baked goods is a relatively niche area in Malaysia, but the long shelf life of these products helped to stimulate demand in 2020 with consumers looking to stockpile staples. Frozen baked goods are typically served at breakfast, with popular options including roti canai, chapatti and naan.
In contrast to the improved fortunes of packaged baked goods, unpackaged baked goods including bread, cakes and pastries have all seen declining retail volume sales. These products suffered as a result of the initial MCO with consumers seeing their movements limited and thus being unable to access the shopping malls where unpackaged baked goods are more typically sold.
Supply and distribution issues impeded the growth of unpackaged baked goods in 2020, but as restrictions have been lifted there are signs that these products are in for a strong year in 2021. Unpackaged leavened bread is the largest and most popular area of baked goods in Malaysia with consumers attracted to it its good taste and more affordable pricing, when compared to packaged leavened bread.
COVID-19 has resulted in consumers placing an even greater focus on their diet, with reports appearing online and in the media about how diet can impact your immune system. This is likely to be reflected in the new product development seen within baked goods over the forecast period.
Foodservice sales suffered a huge blow in 2020 with Malaysia’s MCO limiting outlets to takeaway and home delivery. As from 2021 sales should start to slowly recover with there being a pent up demand stemming from home seclusion.
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