Asia Pacific is under the spotlight as a high-potential region, particularly for the nascent cooking ingredients and meals categories. Competition is intensifying as consumers have more options for meals than ever before outside of the home, driving the importance of innovation to excite them. This report explores the types of innovation put forth by local firms and aligned with strategic themes that will shape cooking ingredients and meals in Asia for the next 3-5 years.
Prominent local players in each Asian market limit the penetration of regional players – this in turn dampens the potential for regional cuisine and innovations that can help to drive trends and preparing traditional dishes at home. This is especially so for categories such as sauces, dressings and condiments which is largely value-driven as consumers seek quality packaged ingredients.
Leveraging food delivery and offering products that align with certain values specific to cooking ingredients and meals in Asia can help to drive demand. This is especially as consumer familiarity with digital means of food ordering is already developed, and in many emerging markets consumers are still trading up to packaged products from fresh ingredients.
Sustainability, environmental, and animal rights concerns have yet to translate into mainstream consumption of plant-based protein in Asia. Along with the huge market of tofu-based products, the “new generation” of meat substitutes faces many challenges in this region. More affordable pricing, and diverse and localised applications are a few methods for plant-based food to grow.
Developments in food tech and value-added products will continue, and plant-based food will also become more prominent – first through M&A by global firms or start-ups. Other strategic themes that have advanced in American and European markets will also infiltrate the region, which will be seen in the form of new innovations that will shape consumer values.
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