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Food and beverage companies are targeting Asia’s lucrative electronic games (egames) market by rolling out customised functional products and sponsoring esports events in collaboration with leading game developers. Opportunities are rife for such products in China, which by itself is a $ 50 billion-plus market for mobile, personal computer, console, and cloud gaming software, as well as other booming Asian markets, such as Japan, and South Korea, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Tim Hill, Key Account Director at GlobalData Singapore, comments: “During extended gaming sessions, egamers are prone to consume snacks and drinks to quell hunger pangs, stay hydrated, and thereby play uninterrupted. Food and beverage makers are rolling out premium products targeting this high-spending cohort of avid gamers to cash in on the popularity of gaming. Companies are customising the recipes with ingredients that boost stamina and mental alertness to allow egamers to extend their sessions and improve their performance. Additionally, they are personalizing offerings for egamer cohorts of different genders, ages, and geographic regions. This personalisation feature can appeal to 57 % of Asian consumers whose product choices are often or always influenced by how well the product/service is tailored to my needs and personality**.”

Bobby Verghese, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, notes: “Among beverage categories, energy drinks presently dominate the gaming world. Recent product launches targeting avid gamers include Coca-Cola’s Thums Up Charged energy drink unveiled in Vietnam and Cambodia, and Beat The World’s G-Beat energy drink and computer manufacturer Acer’s PredatorShot in Thailand. Coca-Cola claims that Thums Up Charged is infused with vitamin B3, caffeine, and zinc to boost energy. According to the manufacturer, G-Beat is made with natural caffeine and without white sugar and fortified with vitamins A and B to support eyesight and brain functioning. Acer claims that PredatorShot is fortified with vitamin A to boost gamers’ eyesight.”

Hill continues: “Companies are also collaborating with top game developers to launch co-branded products and packaging. For instance, Coca-Cola unveiled a limited-edition Coca-Cola Ultimate Zero Sugar with a special flavour inspired by Riot Games’ hit game, League of Legends. Other recent examples include Mister Potato’s special edition pack for the game, Mobile Legends: Bang; and ZUS Coffee’s limited-edition drink, Velvet Crème Poring Latté, with the theme of the popular mobile game, Ragnarok Origin. Within the foodservice sector, notable examples of egames collaborations include Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza, Hut which rolled out special campaigns in Malaysia in collaboration with a popular mobile game, Genshin Impact.”

*GlobalData Technology Intelligence Center ­– Market Analyzers, accessed in September 2023
**GlobalData Q2 2023 Consumer Survey – Asia & Australasia, with 6,438 respondents, published in May 2023

SIG announced the completion of its acquisition of Pactiv Evergreen Inc.’s Asia Pacific chilled carton operations (“Evergreen Asia”). The business is fully consolidated from the beginning of August 2022.

On 5 January 2022, SIG announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Evergreen Asia, a leading system supplier of filling machines, cartons, closures and after-sales service in the chilled segment, covering dairy and non-carbonated soft drinks, with production facilities in mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea.

For the twelve months ended 31 December 2021, Evergreen Asia generated revenue of approximately EUR 135 million and adjusted EBITDA of approximately EUR 24 million1. It was acquired for an enterprise value of USD 335 million and SIG expects to realise run-rate cost synergies of approximately EUR 6 million.

The acquisition provides new growth opportunities in Asia, where demand is growing strongly especially for fresh milk in China. Evergreen Asia enables SIG to further expand its existing customer relationships with national dairies and provides access to new customers at a regional and local level. SIG intends to leverage its R&D know-how, innovation capabilities and its marketing expertise to introduce more innovative packaging formats in this market segment.

1Unaudited

IFF announced today that the Company invested a total of USD 87 million in their newly extended flavors manufacturing facility in Karawang, Indonesia during the site’s virtual opening. The facility, located in Karawang International Industrial City, first started operations in 2015 to address the fast-growing demand for flavour technology in the region. Today, as IFF’s largest manufacturing facility in Greater Asia, Karawang houses full manufacturing capabilities, from liquid compounds to powder, emulsions, and spray dry technology, warehousing and quality control.

The newly extended 12,800m2 state-of-the-art facility is equipped with modern infrastructure and technology to ensure efficiency, safety, quality, and traceability. In line with the Company’s dedication to drive sustainability, the site initiatives range from zero waste to landfill, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, and hazardous waste. The expansion and increased capacity services customers in South East Asia and North Asia. This investment is consistent with IFF’s strategy to capture the growth potential of emerging markets in Asia.

The fruit, starch and sugar group AGRANA is extending its presence in Asia and acquiring the fruit preparations business of the local food producer Taiyo Kagaku Co. Ltd. AGRANA Fruit Japan Ltd. will be starting with the production of fruit preparations on 1 April and therefore now includes a fourth Asian country in addition to China, India and South Korea. As the global leader in fruit preparations, AGRANA now maintains 26 production sites in 20 countries.

The fruit preparations plant in question is located in Yokkaichi, in southern Japan, around 100 km east of Osaka. From there it will supply customers in Japan’s bakery products sector as well as dairies and ice cream producers. Japan has a constantly growing market for fruit preparations with a volume of around 60,000 metric tons and forecast annual growth of 2-3 % a year.

“The acquisition of this Japanese fruit preparations plant from TAIYO is an important step as part of our expansion in Asia. The growing Japanese market for fruit preparations is characterised by high quality demands and innovations. This ties in perfectly with our high quality standards and the innovative direction as the global market leader in the fruit segment, where we satisfy the needs of our customers with a wide portfolio – ranging from standard fruit preparations for yoghurts and ice creams to premium-segment fruit solutions such as sauces, condiments, fillings and smoothie bases,” explains the CEO of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG, Johann Marihart.

Fruit preperations at AGRANA
AGRANA’s fruit preparations contain top quality fruit which is either puréed or diced and used in dairy products or in the ice cream and bakery products industries. These products are individually designed by AGRANA on the basis of close development-related collaborations with customers. In addition to fruit preparations, AGRANA also offers innovative preparations with “brown flavours” such as caramel, coffee or vanilla as well as so-called inclusions (e.g. chocolate balls). In addition to the food processing industry, AGRANA also supplies its fruit preparations to fast-food companies and food service providers.

As might be expected, there are high levels of concern among Asian consumers about the impact COVID-19 is having, both directly on their own lives and also on a global scale. According to Innova’s COVID-19 Consumer Survey (conducted in March 2020), in China, India and Indonesia, personal concerns center on health, personal income and the availability of healthcare and products to buy.

Personal health, and the health of family and friends, tops the list of concerns across all three countries, with impact on personal income/finances ranked as second. Indian consumers were the most concerned. 73 % of Indian consumers say that they were very concerned about their own and that of their family’s/friends’ health. This is compared with 58 % in China and 52 % in Indonesia.

Concerns over more global issues are led by healthcare and financial/economic uncertainty. Healthcare ranks the highest in India, with 79 % of respondents very concerned. Financial/economic uncertainty came out first in China and Indonesia, with 55 % and 68 % of respondents, respectively, saying that they were very concerned. Consumers in all three countries were also concerned about the impact on food and job security.

Changes in behavior driven by the pandemic include more working from home, more social media and online entertainment and even exercising inside the home, with lower levels of leaving the house, visiting cafes/bars and restaurants, travelling for business and pleasure and using public transportation.

Health considerations have become more influential on purchasing decisions, with consumers trying to eat more healthily and consuming products in a bid to boost immunity. These include ingredients such as turmeric in India, chrysanthemum and cordyceps flower in China and royal jelly, ginger and mint in Indonesia. Familiarity, comfort and improving mood are also seen as increasingly important factors for food and beverage choices during the crisis. Health, shelf-life and cost are taking on a greater significance with regard to purchasing decisions, while factors such as flavor and indulgence appear to be declining in importance. Innova Market Insight’s research indicated that the main changes in attitude/behavior in India and China included more cooking/preparing of homemade food, more healthy eating and more eating/drinking products to boost immune health.

Fresh fruit and vegetables and juices and nectars are some of the top categories benefiting from this trend, as consumers look to them as a means of boosting health. At the same time, consumers claimed to be purchasing lower levels of less healthy, indulgent and highly processed options, such as ice cream, pizza and cakes and pastries.

There has also been an acceleration in the growth of online grocery shopping as movements are restricted and physical stores cannot easily be accessed. The rise in grocery apps in China, for example, encompasses developments in supermarkets, dedicated grocery apps and food delivery platforms. Restaurants have been quick to offer home delivery, but many consumers are also willing to order online and go out and pick up takeout. In China, 37 % of consumers claimed to be ordering more restaurant/café food online, while 34 % were picking up takeout food and meals more often.

Coca-Cola has rolled out a new energy drink – Coca-Cola Energy – in Vietnam as part of the company’s larger focus to evolve into a complete beverage company and offer the Vietnamese consumers a wide range of drinks to cater the different lifestyles and occasions, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s 2018 Q4 Consumer Survey, around 41 % of Asia-Pacific (APAC) consumers prefer to experiment with new kind of soft drinks and around 40 % of them are willing to pay more for better quality soft drinks.

Shagun Sachdeva, Consumer Insights Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Soft drinks brands have been coming across increased competition amidst intensifying scrutiny of sugar-sweetened beverages and corresponding consumer efforts to make healthier choices. Against this backdrop, they are mapping out the wellness considerations for the products they are offering to attract a niche market of specialists such as sports enthusiast and athletes, whilst also appealing to the mainstream of active lifestylers.”

An analysis of GlobalData’s Market Analyzer reveals that APAC energy drinks market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9 % from US$24.7bn in 2018 to US$36.2m in 2023. The Vietnamese energy drinks market is expected to reach US$1.46bn by 2023 from US$1.34bn in 2019.

Sachdeva adds: “Energy drinks have become a key thrust for Coca-Cola to rejuvenate growth in the APAC soft drinks market. The company is quick to understand that soft drinks category needs an image makeover. As a result, it is breaking the long-standing lead in Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSDs) by expanding its range of drinks portfolio to tap the correct set of active and time-scarce consumers and embracing innovation to sustain a highly competitive marketing profile.”

The other factors contributing to the emerging growth of the Vietnam energy drinks’ market are improving economic climate, socio-political stability and likelihood of stringent regulations as the Ministry of Finance has proposed a new sugar tax of 10% on sugary drinks from 2019.

Sachdeva concludes: “The launch comes at a time when most of the beverage companies are going beyond soda and there is growing competition in the carbonated market following the influx of countless other carbonated brands. Even though, Coca-Cola is already offering energy drinks under the brand name Monster, the company’s decision to launch energy drinks under its trademark will reinforce local identity, foster reassurance, create emotional resonance among the consumers and further deepen brand’s equity in Vietnam.”

Stand applications for ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA 2019 are closing soon, and exhibitors looking to secure their space at this year’s event on 4 – 6 September at AsiaWorld-Expo Center, Hong Kong, must register by 28 February. Any applications received after this date are accommodated on a first come, first served basis.

Representatives from around 20 different countries have already signed up to exhibit at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA 2019, and the range of products on display has been expanded this year beyond fresh fruit and vegetables.

Last year, ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA attracted more than 13,000 industry professionals from over 70 different countries who took in a vast array of products and services from 826 exhibitors representing 46 nations. An expanded product range this year presents even greater sourcing and marketing opportunities for servicing Asia’s growing demand for wholesome, healthy produce.

For more information on exhibiting at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA, please contact:
Sinenart Baramirattanachai by email: sinenart@gp-events.com or visit www.asiafruitlogistica.com.

With a month to go before ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA opens its doors in Hong Kong, Asia’s premier fresh fruit and vegetable show is gearing up for its biggest and best edition yet.

Exhibitors from 46 different countries have signed up to showcase their products and services at the show, which returns to AsiaWorld-Expo Center in Hong Kong on 5-7 September.

Some 27 national pavilions will feature at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA, including Argentina, Australia, Britain & Ireland, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, the US and Vietnam.

Visitors can look forward to taking in a rich array of global offerings, with exhibitors spanning all continents, and every sector of the value chain.

What’s on the programme?

Well over 13,000 top-level buyers from than 70 different countries are expected to attend ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA.

Visitors can get a valuable head-start by attending ASIAFRUIT CONGRESS. Asia’s premier fresh produce conference is the curtain raiser to the trade show, taking place on 4 September, the day before ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA at the same venue.

Leading figures from the fresh produce business and the wider business world provide expert insights into the key market trends and opportunities across Asia. Attracting more than 400 high-level industry professionals from 40 different countries, ASIAFRUIT CONGRESS offers first-rate networking opportunities.

On the show-floor at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA on 5-7 September, visitors can take part in two walk-in hall forums – ASIAFRUIT BUSINESS FORUM at Hall Forum 1, and COOL LOGISTICS ASIA and SMART HORTICULTURE ASIA at Hall Forum 2.

For more information please visit: www.asiafruitlogistica.com

The growing appeal of leading healthy lifestyles has made its way to consumers in Southeast Asia and it seems the cornerstone of maintaining this is by following a healthy diet and exercise regime.

Indeed, new research from global market intelligence agency Mintel reveals that as many as three in four (75 %) metro consumers in Indonesia and two in three (66 %) metro consumers in Thailand say they aim to have a healthier diet in 2017*. Additionally, 58 % of metro Indonesians and 62 % of metro Thais say that they will definitely exercise more in 2017.

One of the key ways in which consumers in Southeast Asia are looking to adopt a healthy and balanced diet is by consuming food and drink that is high in protein. Indeed, there has been an increased interest in protein offering across the region. Mintel research shows that 64 % of metro consumers in Indonesia and Thailand respectively say that as part of their daily diets, they prefer to get their protein from foods that are naturally high in protein. Reflecting a growth in interest in protein consumption in Southeast Asian consumers’ daily diets, this figure (64 %) is a rise from 37 % of metro Indonesians and 41 % of metro Thais who said the same last year**.

Brands and companies have taken notice of this trend, however, innovation in Asia Pacific is falling behind; data from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) found that in the two years leading to July 2017***, there was a 26 % increase in the number of global food and drink launches carrying a ‘high/added protein’ claim. Comparatively, Asia Pacific saw a 5 % growth in the number of food and drink launches with a ‘high/added protein’ claim in the same time period.

Jane Barnett, Head of Insights, South APAC, at Mintel said:

“Improving health and fitness is now a key focus of consumers across Southeast Asia, particularly through their diets and exercise. Consumers in the region show continuous interest in proteins and are incorporating more of them into their daily diets and eating regimes. Much of this growth in demand is attributable to consumer belief that protein aids in the pursuit or maintenance of a healthy physique, and provides them with energy and satiety. While brands in Asia Pacific have taken notice of this interest, there is still more room for innovation within the region.”

According to Mintel research, 47 % of metro Thai consumers think that high protein food or drink assists with building muscle, while 37 % of metro Indonesians think that high protein offerings help in managing weight. Furthermore, just over two in five consumers in urban Indonesia (42 %) and Thailand (41 %) feel that high protein food or drink provides them with long-lasting energy, while four in 10 (40 %) metro Thais think that these offerings help them to feel fuller for longer.

Meanwhile, the aspiration to be healthy among consumers has also made its way into the beauty and personal care industry with launches that target niche sporting activities, giving rise to Mintel’s 2017 Global Beauty and Personal Care Trend, ‘Active Beauty’.

Mintel research finds that 58 % of metro Thais and 63 % of metro Indonesians believe that regular exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle. As consumers recognise the importance of staying active, beauty and personal care brands are formulating products to help them in their quest for health and fitness. According to Mintel GNPD, the number of global skincare products launched featuring the word “sweat” in the product description grew by 30 % between 2015 and 2016, while the number of these launches in the colour cosmetics category grew by a significant 81 % in the same time frame.

“The perception of Active Beauty within Asia first started out, and is still very much, centred on suncare. However, as sports and fitness activities move indoors, this segment will move beyond sun protection. While still a niche market in Asia and globally, there is definite growth opportunities for active beauty brands and products in Southeast Asia, especially as consumers continue to recognise the benefits of staying active.” Jane continues.

Aside from achieving a healthy body, it seems that it is also the mind that consumers in Southeast Asia are keen to look after. Over three in five (61 %) of metro Thai consumers believe that maintaining a positive mental state is an important factor to leading a healthy lifestyle.

“While there have been a couple of products across Southeast Asia’s sports, energy, and lifestyle beverage space that talk about the ‘mind and body’, there is definitely still space for brands and companies to expand into this area. Globally, we see a growing rate of products that aim to provide more of a holistic approach, incorporating a beneficial nutritional profile, as well as either enhancing a consumer’s mood or providing the elements needed to keep the mind sharp and focused.” Jane concludes.

*Polled in June 2017
**Polled in June 2016
***August 2014 to July 2017