Cost-of-living pressures continue to challenge Australian consumers in 2023, despite recent falls in inflation and the stalling of interest rate increases by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Previous rises in the headline rate placed greater pressure on mortgage holders, with property investors hiking rents at a time of heightened demand driven by a simultaneous recovery in post-pandemic immigration. In this context, affordability remains key, but other global trends are playing an important role.
Despite Asia’s relatively soft inflation rates compared with several other global regions, cost-of-living pressures are continuing to play a major role in shaping consumer preferences in 2023 and leading up to 2024. In addition, travel resumption (with the reopening of China in early 2023) has meant changing day-to-day lifestyles and consumer values in terms of priority product attributes; all of which make for overarching shifts in key food themes in Asia Pacific.
Hybrid lifestyles mean consumers are spending more time at home, and the cost-of-living crisis is putting pressure on disposable incomes. These trends bring opportunities to meal kits, as they are premium offerings in a retail context but are more affordable than traditional foodservice options, thus making them an attractive choice for consumers in a post-pandemic world.
As meat and seafood substitutes evolve, so do technology, production abilities, and paths to market. A recent visit to Aqua Cultured Foods HQ in Chicago highlights technological innovations and a shift to foodservice.
To stay ahead of the innovation curve, attend the Sustainable DAIRY Alternatives event on the 24 - 25th of May in Singapore and find out what are the new materials & technologies out there and can truly delivering authentic taste, functionality and cleaner label for dairy protein.
Trends and lifestyle changes that emerged during the pandemic years, resulting in greater adoption of digitalisation and greater influence of foodservice trends at home, are expected to continue. Novel innovations incorporate product positioning to appease consumer goals for holistic wellbeing, while plant-based ingredients go beyond milks and meat into meal essentials.
In a time when the world is striving to create a balance between sustainability and profitability, a challenge such as food waste can severely undermine these efforts. With recent advancements in sustainable development and increased international pressure on countries to play a role in mitigating associated risks, many countries are exploring novel ways to reduce food waste.
In this episode, Euromonitor International’s Nutrition Research Analyst Ekaterina Tretyakova discusses the key trends - health and wellness, sustainability, and the impact of technology – which are driving consumer demand for ready meals.