In 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) produced key growth drivers, such as shifts in retailing and from out-of-home to at-home consumption. The government’s efforts to curb COVID-19 community transmissions required stand-alone foodservice outlets to close and Singapore residents to work, study and generally stay at home to avoid unnecessary contact with others.
Seng Hua Hng Foodstuffs retained its leading position in NH packaged food in 2020 through strong brand equity for Camel, which offers a diverse offer in NH nuts, seeds and trail mixes. However, the company witnessed a drop in retail value share as players active in more essential categories prospered.
As social distancing became essential during COVID-19, Singaporeans were more inclined to buy groceries from stores in or nearer to their neighbourhoods to avoid crowds and long-distance travelling. Therefore, retail value sales of packaged food, including NH packaged food, increased through channels like supermarkets and independent small grocers located in or close to residential areas.
Save for NH nuts, seeds and trail mixes, the biggest contributors to sales are mainly staples like NH high fibre bread, NH rice, NH olive oil and NH breakfast cereals. The strong presence of staples offers growth opportunities for NH packaged food in the forecast period, as many consumers prioritise healthier, yet affordable daily-use products.
Existing brands in NH fruit snacks, such as Sunsweet, 7D, Ligo and Sun-Maid, are legacy brands that have not undergone much innovation to stimulate brand or category awareness. This potential is limited as Singapore is predominantly an import market.
COVID-19 forced producers and distributors to find ways to reach consumers more effectively, with convenient and safe options rising in importance due to home seclusion and social distancing measures. Convenient, contactless and increasingly credible shopping format like e-commerce are set to continue to benefit from COVID-19 channel shifts in the forecast period.
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