It is tempting to conclude that low-carb, high-protein diets were a mere fad that fizzled out about a decade ago. However, a closer look reveals that plenty of opportunities remain in Asia Pacific to capitalise on the low-carb, high-protein trend in line with the popularity enjoyed in developed countries. It is sure to spread to middle and higher socioeconomic groups in developing economies which are battling with the rise of obesity.
Globally, special diets, such as low-carb, high-protein diets, are gradually slowing down, as consumers are shifting towards mindful eating. In recent years, consumers are embracing carbs in moderation as a key component of a balanced diet as well as seeking protein from more natural and ethical sources.
Unlike the global trend, mindful eating has not arrived yet to Asia Pacific and low-carb, high-protein diets are still catching up, as both carbs and protein intake are continuously increasing, albeit from a relatively low base in the region. This might be due to the fact that most Asians are still rooted in their traditional diets, and consumers are less educated about low-carb, high-protein diets, choosing high-carb foods for satiety reasons.
However, as diets are becoming more westernised in some developed countries in Asia Pacific, low-carb, high-protein diets have increased in popularity. For example, in Japan, thanks to manufacturers, foodservice and retailers' efforts to boost the demand, the trend has firmly established as a widely accepted way of healthy eating for all generations.
Opportunity remains strong in Asia Pacific, where the low-carb, high-protein trend is still a niche. South Korea has the highest growth potential with weight management gaining traction among consumers. The potential for low-carb, high-protein products is also set to grow in East and Southeast Asian countries, where consumers are increasingly battling against weight issues.
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