The Evolution of Home Cooking in Asia Pacific

December 2021

In the two years since the onset of COVID-19, eating and drinking at home have evolved significantly in Asia Pacific. The roads to recovery remain divergent, with some markets on track and laggards shrouded with uncertainty, amplifying the need for companies to be versatile. This report dissects some of these changes and identifies opportunities within various aspects of home kitchens – from food, drinks and appliances to homeware – whilst considering pre-existing cultural nuances.

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Key Findings

Product versatility guides consumers on the path to economic recovery

Asian markets continued to struggle with the pandemic in 2021. Unlike in other regions, where economies have progressively opened, including entertainment and travel, India, Japan and Southeast Asia countries have faced fluctuating lockdown regulations, entering 2022 with a sense of uncertainty. Many will find value in versatile products at home that can suit any occasion.

A diverse price range will cater to consumers with different means and willingness to spend

The choice between spending and saving polarised consumers in 2021, with some continuing to struggle with a lack of income stability and others spending money saved by the absence of travel and out-of-home activities. Affordability remains a core need for price-sensitive consumers, but premium products also attract those who are seeking to make their lives easier.

Multifunctionality is key to suit local needs while maintaining a novel positioning

Localisation remains key to success in Asia, given that consumers at home frequently seek food from their own culture. However, many consumers are also interested in products from foreign cuisines with novel attributes that can save time and offer something new and exciting.

Compatibility between food and sophisticated appliances is in demand as consumers have greater digital familiarity

Lack of cooking expertise, especially amongst the younger cohort, along with acceptance of technology as a time-saver, drives innovation in the appliances space. It is an opportune time for companies to partner with food manufacturers and vice versa, in order to complement each other.

Reducing clean-up encourages consumers to become more engaged in food preparation at home

Not only is the shortening of preparation steps essential to capture consumers’ attention, but so is reducing clean-up time. This will help motivate consumers to become more involved in food preparation, knowing that enjoyment of food does not come with extensive cleaning up afterwards.

 

Introduction

Scope
Key findings
Asian markets show positive recovery prospects through 2022
Growth in spending to come from Asian markets
Reduced consumer mobility strengthens home eating occasions
Opportunities in the key stages of eating at home

Preparation

Shifts in lifestyles and food consumption habits spark innovation
Higher frequency and sophistication of making coffee at home
German Pool, Hong Kong: merging convenience with aesthetics
Consumers look for fresh and convenient meal solutions
EveryPlate, Australia: comfort food made easy and affordable
Localisation will be a key differentiator to justify consumer spend
Samsung Curd Maestro, India: localised do-it-for-you refrigerator
Key lessons to aid food preparation in Asian homes

Cooking

Strong alternatives to home-cooked food make innovation urgent
Adoption of new technologies creates the need for new food features
CJ Cheiljedang: building a light fryer-compatible portfolio
The fight for countertop space raises demand for multifunctionality
Philips and Electrolux: light fryers and microwaves blur lines
Re-imagining convenient cooking at home through food packaging
Hot Cup, Thailand: self-heating packaging extends beyond China
Key lessons to aid cooking in Asian homes

Cleaning

Heightened sensitivity towards hygiene creates varied opportunities
Price and heightened hygiene awareness benefit hand dishwashing
Sahaja, Indonesia: various formats allow outreach to non-users
Dishwashers demonstrate value in and beyond the pandemic
Xiaomi Mijia, China: highly affordable automated cleaning
Single-use packaging reduces the use of cleaning aids
SteamMe, Japan: ready-to-cook packaging reduces clean-up

cleaning

Key lessons to aid cleaning in Asian kitchens

Key Takeaways

Expected developments in Asian kitchens
Recommendations
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