28 Mar 5 Key Trends in 2023
Political conflicts, rising prices and supply chain disruptions continue to drive up the cost of living. Concurrently, Gen Z and Millennials are pushing and defining markets with a strong voice. Amidst increasing stress and hectic lifestyle, convenience and comfort are greatly appreciated.
These forces will influence ongoing changes in eating preferences, experiences, and habits of APAC consumers. In this article, Lesaffre shares 5 food-related trends that we expect to see in the region in 2023.
According to a survey conducted by Mintel, the impact of inflation most felt by APAC consumers is rising food and drink prices. Ways to reduce spending include cutting back on gourmet treats, taking advantage of sales and opting for private labels. At the same time, food and drinks that have health benefits was voted the top indicator for good value-for-money by APAC consumers. This presents opportunities, particularly for supermarket in-store bakeries and convenience stores private label, for simple, clean and nutritious breads that are reasonably priced.
Growing up in the world of social media, platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram are part of Gen Z’s life. Besides looking up on reviews and inspiration, they are also eager to share views and new or unique experiences on social media. The strong voice of Gen Z is defining service and product offerings, including food. Being a “foodie” is an identity for Gen Z. As such, brands that can create recipes with novel flavours, pleasant texture or appealing colours to satisfy consumers’ growing desire for new eating experiences will be able to win hearts.
The plant-based sector in APAC has grown quickly in the recent years, driven by meat and dairy alternatives. Its popularity can be attributed to health or sustainability reasons. Vegan-friendly options can be found more widely at F&B outlets to cater to vegans and flexitarians. Although vegan bread remains small, bread companies are riding on the bandwagon. Innova found that the number of new packaged bread launches with vegan claim in APAC has increased by 6 times from 2019 to 2022. As milky and buttery breads are preferred by APAC consumers, brands can explore formulating vegan bread with favourable taste and texture.
Bread and bread products are typically consumed during breakfast in APAC, followed by afternoon snack. According to Mintel, consumers in Philippines and Thailand are the biggest snackers in APAC. With countries opening up, many consumers have resumed the daily habits they enjoyed before the pandemic, including on-the-go snacking and snacking in groups. Tasty, fresh, and natural are the top qualities that APAC consumers look for in a snack. While snacks have been traditionally associated with guilty indulgence, brands that can offer treats aligned with consumers’ holistic wellness goals can shine in 2023.
Quick and fresh
As mentioned above, tasty, fresh and natural are the top qualities that APAC consumers look for in a snack. Furthermore, freshness is the top priority influencing consumers’ purchasing decision when buying fresh bread – more important than taste and cost. As consumers resume their busy lifestyles, they are seeking time-saving options to prepare hot, fresh meals. Brands can value-add in the convenient space by offering fresh, healthy and convenient food, such as frozen par bake sourdough bread, to help meet consumers’ needs.
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