NH rice and NH high fibre bread each recorded rare double-digit volume sales growth in 2020, prompted by escalating demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Given their home seclusion and greater time spent cooking, many consumers stockpiled rice for a sense of security.
NH snacks such as high fibre sweet biscuits, nuts and seeds as well as cereal bars registered better performances than their regular counterparts although volume sales still either declined or rose slightly. These NH snacks usually carry a higher protein, lower sugar and higher fibre content, and are therefore more filling as well as nourishing compared with non-NH ones.
In 2020, NH olive oil registered a moderately better performance compared with 2019. Home seclusion and an increase in home cooking was the key driver behind volume sales going from slight decline to mild increase.
NH cereal bars is expected to bounce back from slight declines in 2019 and 2020 with low but consistent volume sales growth in the forecast period. After their prolonged home seclusion, consumers will be likely to go out much more often to compensate.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit Hong Kong in 2020, digestive benefits and immunity-boosting became hot topics in packaged food again among consumers, and this spilled over into staple foods such as breakfast cereals and bread. For instance, consumers of breakfast cereals showed a greater preference for rawer and more natural options, eg crunchy muesli and granola and other RTE cereals with high fibre content.
In bread, NH high fibre varieties are nothing new to Hong Kong consumers, but Maxim’s Cakes initiated the unprecedented association of high fibre with immunity-boosting in the launch of its new oatmeal bread series, collaborating with Quaker. Its marketing campaigns emphasised the immunity-boosting advantage of Beta-Q and selenium, while its other ingredients such as flaxseed, sesame and sunflower seed promoted digestive health.
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