FI Asia 2016: The key industry trends hitting the show floor

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

The Innovation Zone will focus on hot new products and developments
The Innovation Zone will focus on hot new products and developments

Related tags Nutrition

With FI Asia taking place this week in Jakarta with 15,000 visitors, 650 exhibitors and a host of industry experts in one place, we caught up with Olav Masseling, brand director at event organiser UBM to talk about the Asia market, the major trends are shaping this year’s event, and what new innovations visitors can expect to see.  

According to Masseling, the Indonesia market in particular is looking very positive.

“If we look at Indonesia alone, rising household consumption is a major driver for Indonesia’s economy and an industry that thrives on this is food and beverages.

“We're seeing sales growth fuelled by rising personal incomes and increased spending on food and drink, especially from the growing number of middle class consumers that demand more diverse diets including more meat, dairy products and fruit and vegetables, as well as quality and safety and convenience.”

And the figures certainly appear to add  up. In February 2016 Indonesia investments reported "besides infrastructure, Indonesia’s food and beverage sector remains a favourite of Indonesian banks for the disbursement of loans in 2016 as this sector is regarded promising."

Meanwhile, Indonesian Food and Beverage Association GAPMMI stated in December 2015 that turnover in Indonesia’s food and beverage industry stands at about IDR1,200 trillion (approx. US$87.6bn) in 2015, up from IDR1,020 trillion (+17.6% year-on-year) in the preceding year, despite the slowdown of the country’s overall economy.

So what major ingredient trends are taking shape at this year’s event?

“Asia has a diversity of food cultures and traditions that offers food manufacturers a huge but complex market with varied tastes and preferences,”​ according to Masseling.

"A food product that is successful in one country may not necessarily be successful in another in Asia. But despite all the differences, Asians have developed few common traits identical to the global community.”

According to Masseling these are:

- A strong demand for clean labels

- Preference for healthy foods

- Willingness to pay a premium for healthy options

- More halal options

Health attributes

"The Asia Pacific food and beverage sector is greatly influenced by the consumer preference for healthy food,”​ says Masseling. “This is a major driver for functional food ingredients.” According to Euromonitor the strongest growth can be seen in Indonesia, Vietnam and China. “And there’s a willingness to pay a premium for healthier choices in a developing markets,” adds Masseling. Based on a 2015 Nielsen report more than nine out of ten respondents in Asia Pacific (93%) say they are willing to pay more for foods with health attributes to some degree, compared to eight out of ten in Europe (79%) and North America (80%).

“And lastly, one of the other key trends is the demand for more halal options” says Masseling. With a Muslim population in Asia of 1.4bn in 2014 or around 32% of the total population, the Muslim population is growing faster than any other community and is increasingly seeking to consume only Halal-certified products.

“A good example of this is gelatine,” says Masseling. According to a recent article on the global Islamic Gateway the global gelatine market was estimated at $2.7bn in 2015, and gelatine for use in pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals at $0.8bn. Muslims spend accounted for an estimated 17% of total global food and beverage expenditure in 2014, but less than 3% of gelatine is made from halal or permissible ingredients. “This means there is a clear demand for greater production of halal gelatine.”

Masseling concluded by saying there would be a number of new attractions at this year's event.

“We have an Innovation Zone / New Product Zone with Innova Market Insight; Innovation Tours with Nutrimarketing; and self-guided discovery tours that inform visitors about the main market and trends, and product innovations,” says Masseling. “Plus we offer onsite supplier finder services, a mobile app and matchmaking services, and pre-arranged meetings between visitors and exhibitors. Not only that there’s also a Ni pavilion and a host of not-to-be-missed on site conferences and seminars.”  

Related topics Markets and Trends Functional foods

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