Asia’s evolution in food innovation: Trends and axes in 2024

June 13, 2024

According to a report from Proteines XTC, the year 2023 brought notable shifts in the Asian food market, reflecting broader global trends while also catering to regional tastes and needs.

The rise of pleasure and well-being

Asia’s food innovation landscape in 2023 highlights a dynamic shift towards “Pleasure” and “Physical” well-being. “Pleasure” innovations have surged, representing 41.6% of total food innovations, up from 36.6% in 2022. This growth is driven by an increasing focus on sophisticated and energy-enhancing products, with the “Physical” well-being trend rising to 31.2% from 22.3% the previous year. While the “Health” axis has seen a slight reduction, dropping from 30.4% in 2022 to 25.9% in 2023, the overall trend reflects a vibrant market responding to evolving consumer preferences for enjoyable and beneficial products​​​​.

Consistency in convenience and ethical innovations

Convenience and ethical innovations have remained consistent in Asia’s food market. The “Convenience” axis held steady at 6.0%, demonstrating the ongoing demand for time-saving and user-friendly products. Ethical innovations accounted for 4.4% of total food innovations, maintaining their relevance as consumers continue to value the sustainability and social responsibility of the products they are choosing. These stable trends indicate that while the market is evolving, there remains a strong foundation built on convenience and ethical considerations, catering to modern consumer needs and values​​.

Global trends reflected in Asia

While Asia’s innovation trends are generally in alignment with global patterns, Asia’s 10 most innovative categories differed slightly from with worldwide ones. Soft drinks topped both lists and appetizer grocery products and dairy products were also high on both lists, though worldwide savoury frozen products came first. Ice cream, sweets and milk were more popular in Asia than they were worldwide, where categories such as ready meals and fresh substitutes were stronger.

Worldwide, the “Pleasure” axis has increased significantly, making up 52.1% of new product launches in 2023, up from 48.1% in 2022. This global preference for pleasurable food experiences is mirrored in Asia, where sensory-rich and sophisticated products are gaining traction. The “Health” axis, while experiencing a global decrease from 31.4% in 2022 to 25.9% in 2023, is still playing an important role on the market. Additionally, the proportion of innovations with ethical promises has stabilised globally at 6.4% in 2023, underscoring a balanced approach to consumer expectations and innovative offerings​

SIAL’s shows in Asia offer a unique opportunity to learn more about major players in this part of the world and make valuable connections face-to-face. SIAL Shenzhen will be held in the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Centre from 2-4 September this year.

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