Entering the Southeast Asia Food Market

9/27/2019
Gaining insight into international food trends can help food ingredient experts expand their product offerings and meet consumer food trends.  The Southeast Asian food market continues to grow across many food verticals and has seen recent growth in the dairy industry, specifically cheese, which is expected to reach 1.6 million tons by 2020.
 
A Modern Take on Tradition
Consumers in Southeast Asia are still seeking out the comfort of traditional flavor but want to diverse food options that are trending from various regions. For example, take a Thai green curry flavor profile that’s reminiscent of Vietnamese caramelized fish or rice buns. To develop authentic traditional flavors and fuse them together with modern food trends, food manufacturers can work with a dairy ingredient partner to develop these flavor profiles. Even traditionally high-in-fat or high-in-sodium flavors like soy or coconut milk can be created with reduced sodium and fat to meet the demands of an ever-increasing need for health-conscious consumers.
Time Has Influence
Southeast Asia food trends such as “slow-roasted” are becoming ever prevalent on food ingredient labels. To consumers, this is a testament to the quality and time spent in creating the product, and it has a tremendous influence on purchasing behavior. Ingredient developers are quick to create profiles that suggest that quality, particularly in snacks like slow-roasted peanuts, for example.
 
A Growing Demand for Dairy
The demand for dairy flavors is growing, and countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia are leading the charge for this demand. By integrating these flavors into everyday food applications, it allows food manufacturers to expand the scope of the food offering beyond milk and cheese. Creating cheese-infused snacks or a Thai rice with a buttery profile allows creators to meet both the demand for new flavors and traditional flavors.
Clean Label Expectations
Clean label demands have no geographical boundaries. The Southeast Asian food marketing is focused on clean label as much as the American market is, which means that food manufacturers have an opportunity to look for fewer artificial ingredients and meet the demand for vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free flavors.
The opportunity for food manufacturers to find unexplored flavor trends in the Southeast Asian food market is astounding. Finding an ingredient partner that knows the market well can help you tap into niche cuisines and food trends while focusing on flavor and claim declarations.
 

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