Home > Duxes Conference Interview > article

Beverage Companies Should Look Beyond Industry Reach to Spot Latest Trends
Insights on the Changing Status of Healthy Drinks in the Southeast Asia Market
A perspective from Geana Barbosa, Country Manager (Singapore) at Euromonitor International

2019-09-10 09:34 Tuesday


Market research is the first port of call for any company looking to launch a new brand or product in the food and beverages industry. What is a niche trend today can be a market-leading category in just a few years time.

That's why more and more companies are looking toward market researchers to learn about the next big ideas and direction of the market. In Asia, Euromonitor International has widespread experience in this field. They regularly produce reports into areas such as consumer appliances, health and wellness, nutrition and food ingredients.

01.jpg

One of the expert analysts at Euromonitor International is Geana Barbosa, who is Country Manager for its Singapore office. As an initiator of their recent "Health and Wellness in Singapore" report, she has gained in-depth knowledge of the functional food and beverage industry many of Asia-Pacific's most influential consumer markets.

According to Euromonitor International's analysis of the overall market in Singapore,"Health and wellness registered overall value growth in 2018, buoyed by the healthy living trend". Growth areas included green tea and products containing manuka honey.

In order to learn from her valuable insights, Duxes was pleased to welcome Barbosa to the recent 4th Nutraceutical and Functional Food Asia Pacific Summit 2019 (NFAP) which took place in Singapore from June 25-26, 2019. At the event, she gave a knowledgeable and particularly well-informed presentation on "Shifting to Healthier Beverages in Southeast Asia".

To follow up on her talk at NFAP, we contacted Barbosa after the Summit, to get her opinion on the latest industry trends and asked her to shine a spotlight some areas of opportunity according to her highly-valued research and expertise.

The interview is sure to be of great interest to anyone in the functional food and beverage industry who is looking for further data-backed insights into the market in the Asia-Pacific region and those who are curious about what the future might bring.

How can market research reports such as those produced by Euromonitor International help give a competitive edge to functional F&B companies looking to expand into new areas?

At Euromonitor, we would always encourage clients to look at trends that go beyond their own industry or geographical reach.

In that sense, our market research reports would provide a holistic view of what is happening for example in the consumer health, health & wellness, consumer appliances and even domestic appliances businesses. In the end, functional food and beverage companies will see how to generate opportunities.

At Euromonitor, we would always encourage clients to look at trends that go beyond their own industry or geographical reach… In that sense, our market research reports would provide a holistic view of what is happening.

How do you see consumption patterns changing and shifting these days in Southeast Asia, in terms of what people are choosing to drink?

Consumers are increasingly more health-conscious. Both pushed by the big government health awareness programs and all the influence of social media, consumers want to feel and look good. An expression of this trend is how much faster bottled water volume sales have grown compared to the overall soft drinks industry (which includes carbonated drinks, juices and ready-to-drink tea).

There has been a lot of talk around anti-aging and obesity in nutrition recently. In which countries in particular are these "hot" issues having the most effect on the beverage industry, and why?

Malaysia is on spot when it comes to obesity rates in Southeast Asia. The country has an overweight and obesity prevalence of more than 40%. On the other hand, Thailand has been the one with leading examples of product innovation tackling nutrition combined with low calories and strong benefit claims.

One product example in Thailand is Vitaday, a beverage that adopts the functional approach of letting consumers choose which nutrients they want to supplement – iron, vitamin C or vitamin A. For example, vitamin A helps to nourish the eyes.

Thailand has been the one [country] with leading examples of product innovation tackling nutrition combined with low calories and strong benefit claims.

Were there any results that surprised you when you were compiling your latest reports on the F&B industry in Southeast Asia?

Our team was surprised with the huge opportunity food and drinks manufacturers now have in Southeast Asia due to the boom of convenience stores. Let me explain. The growing number of convenience stores gives manufacturers the opportunity to have a much bigger network of chilled or cold exposure for their products and generate a much closer connection with the day-to-day consumer.

Product innovation on the nutritional and functional fronts can explore channels for fast adoption and massification, bringing scale to new product launches. As an example of this boom, convenience stores in Vietnam are expected to grow by 156% year-on-year followed by 150% in the Philippines.

The smallest growth for convenience stores in Southeast Asia is expected to be in Thailand, and that is still at a high rate, around 35%. As such growth rates show, it is an opportunity to be chased.

Which product do you think will provide the biggest opportunity among health-focused drinks in the next few years?

I see a boom in healthy smoothies (namely, mixing superfruits and vegetables) in all formats. This goes for the packaged RTD version you can buy in supermarkets and convenience stores; cold pressed ones you can get as a drink in a restaurant or café; and, smoothie specialists on food delivery platforms such as Deliveroo or Grab Food. Many of them even have subscription models for daily delivery.

As an example of this boom, convenience stores in Vietnam are expected to grow by 156% year-on-year followed by 150% in the Philippines… As such growth rates show, it is an opportunity to be chased.

Find out more about Duxes Functional Food Series and upcoming events

Trends in the healthy beverages market was just one of many topics explored at NFAP 2019. Each year Duxes invites a high-profile line-up of experts to speak on the latest issues that matter to professionals in the nutraceutical and functional food industry.

Next year's event will be 5th Nutraceutical and Functional Food Asia Pacific Summit 2020, which will also take place in Singapore. The Summit is a great way to build connections for your company, and make sure you stay on top of all the latest developments and regulatory changes.

For further information on Duxes Functional Food Series and for more details of all forthcoming events, don't forget to visit our website here: http://www.duxes-foodbeverage.com/

To learn more about the services and reports provided by Euromonitor International on a wide variety of topics including beverages in SE Asia, click here to visit their website: http://www.euromonitor.com

Related Reading