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Cooking in Southeast Asian Kitchens: Innovations in Food and Appliances

April 2019

With rising urbanisation and an ever-expanding middle-income segment, the Southeast Asian region will witness important changes to its consumption habits. This has implications for packaged food and consumer appliance companies with a stake in at-home cooking. This strategy briefing discusses key trends impacting the at-home meal journey in Southeast Asia through megatrends analysis and uncovers real world cases addressing these trends.

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Key Findings

The at-home meal journey is evolving with implications for markets worldwide and in Southeast Asia

With rising urbanisation and an ever-expanding middle-income segment, the Southeast Asian region will witness changes to consumption habits. This has important implications for packaged food and consumer appliance companies with a stake in at-home cooking.

Growth in disposable income opens up opportunities for packaged food and consumer appliances in the region, but high income disparity remains

In 2018, 32% of the world’s consumer disposable income came from Asia. Although China and India are powerhouses, Vietnam and the Philippines, for example, are among the fastest growth markets for disposable income over 2018-2030. However, high income inequality remains an issue in this diverse region indicating the need for a wide range of products at different price points to cater to vastly different groups of consumers.

Southeast Asian consumers striving for healthy, simplified and experiential living

Consumers in the region, like their wider Asia Pacific counterparts, desire healthy, simplified and experiential living. These aspirations are in line with key global megatrends such as healthy living, connected consumers, experience more and buying time, and it is up to firms to activate these aspirations in the context of the kitchen.

Despite awareness of global trends, local cooking habits and cultural preferences remain, presenting a challenge to firms seeking to tap into these megatrends

  traditional options outside the home, making it challenging for them to adopt new food formats and cooking methods immediately. However, as these ongoing megatrends gradually become more salient to consumers in the region, firms that get in front of relevant propositions stand to benefit in the long run.  Consumers in the region are culturally connected to food at home and to


Scope: Southeast Asia
Key findings
Focus aspects of the at-home meal journey

The Region in Context

Growth in disposable income opens opportunities in Southeast Asia
Packaged food and consumer appliances in context
Positive outlook in Southeast Asia’s cooking ingredients and meals
Backed by income growth, demand for durables rises in Southeast Asia
The search for simplicity and efficiency, with a comfortable lifestyle
Region’s diverse markets converge on home cooking for health

Key Trends

Four key trends

Key Trends: Healthy Living

Healthy living: aspiring physical wellness through better nutrition
The need to feed others raises the potential for targeted products
Plant-based food manifests in simpler, localised innovations
Having your white rice, and eating it too
Steam functions help raise the value proposition of microwaves
Summary: create holistic health solutions

Key Trends: Experience More

Experience more: beyond satiety, food as an experience
Emulating gourmet and ethnic dishes uplifts the cooking experience
Sous vide devices: experiential gains for culinary enthusiasts
What is sous vide?
Summary: bring the restaurant into the home

Key Trends: Connected Consumers

Connected consumers: digital lives extend to dining…
…and cooking
Connectivity indicators: Southeast Asia
Digitalised delivery disrupts consumer access to food and grocery
Connectivity to social media enables meal creations to be shared
Despite challenges faced by meal kits, baking kits show persistence
Thermomix brings food processors into the digital realm…
…Electrolux integrates digital cooking platform for the region
Summary: leverage digital engagement

Key Trends: Buying Time

Buying time for self and family
Convenience innovations challenged by cultural cooking habits
Electric wok makes Asian stir-fry a breeze
Summary: convenience to be balanced with the needs of local cultures


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