Asian consumers are increasingly adventurous about exploring and experiencing new foods and beverages, according to the Vietnamese High Quality Products Business Association.
Speaking at a seminar titled "Export experience, Asian and world market trends" in HCM City on Thursday, its chairwoman, Vu Kim Hanh, said the association had recently sent delegations to some international food exhibitions in China and Thailand.
Their highlights were two new food processing technologies, free-drying and fermentation, which are replacing old processing forms such as oil frying, she said.
There were also many new snacking products and natural, healthy products, she said.
According to the Innova Market Insights consumer trends, in 2019 the food and beverage industry is increasingly focusing on satisfying the adventurous consumer, with consumers moving out of their comfort zones to explore bolder flavours and multisensory food experiences.
Referring to the survey, Hanh said there is a focus on heightened sensory delivery, often combined with an element of the unexpected.
Besides, the plant-based market shows no signs of slowing down, and companies and brands are greening their portfolios to attract mainstream consumers who want to add more plant-based options to their diets, she said.
“As more consumers turn their attention to health and sustainability, replacement foods and ingredients are on the rise, and health remains the number one reason to buy food alternatives,” she said.
The industry is increasingly committed to fulfilling customer expectations of sustainability, and this is driving corporate goals as manufacturers commit to sustainable product and packaging development with a range of initiatives.
This includes waste reduction through use of upcycled ingredients and post-consumer recycling, improved biodegradability and new technologies such as compostable capsules and vegetable inks.
For most consumers, snacking is a part of daily life and always has been, but is no longer an optional extra and instead is a definitive occasion.
It is thus a central focus of innovation across all food and beverage categories, with a 10 per cent average annual growth in global food and beverage launches tracked with a snacking claim over the past five years (CAGR, 2013-2017).
Consumers pay more attention to the nutritional factor in food, not just to "taste".
Nguyen Lam Vien, general director and chairman of Vinamit, said: “Consumers now paid attention not only to the names of producers, but also on how a product is grown and processed before making the purchase.”
Demand for processed foods is increasing, and businesses have come up with various ready-to-eat products in more innovative ways and convenient and eye-catching packaging designs, he said.
He spoke about the snacking market in China, which has seen strong growth in recent years and would continue to do so, and strategies to promote exports to the country.
He said Vietnamese firms should seek ways to export to markets through supermarket systems and other prestigious distributors and do market surveys to identify consumers’ tastes.
They should incorporate local cultures in their marketing strategies, he added.
Ngo Dinh Dung, a market expert, said the food and beverage consumption trend has prompted countries to develop a start-up eco-system in the sector to develop nutritious products that are good for health and high value-added foods and support start-ups that innovate in packaging and tracing origins and automate production. — VNS