Why You Should Be Paying Attention To Southeast Asia’s Food and Beverage Industry

This year, the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report showed Southeast Asian Countries, such as Cambodia and Philippines, ranked among the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world. It is no secret that Southeast Asia’s rapidly rising population and income, coupled with evolving consumer needs, are attracting numerous new players into the flourishing food and beverage (F&B) industry. For F&B businesses looking to expand into Southeast Asia, we have more good news for you.

Rise of the middle-class population

In ASEAN, the middle-class population is expected to reach 400 million by 2020. That’s twice the size of 2012’s 190 million according to Nielsen projections. Nielsen defines middle-class as those with financial means to make purchase decisions ranging from US $16-100 per day based on their level of disposable income. On top of population growth, ASEAN consumers are the most confident in the world when it comes to their economic outlook with Indonesia (1), Philippines (3) and Thailand (7) in the top 10. These factors could translate into greater room for households to increase spending on external dining and entertainment.

Growing popularity of on-the-go food and beverage consumers in major cities

According to Mintel, “Time is of the Essence”, is one of the rising trends in the F&B industry. It refers to the amount of time required for products to be developed and how that will be the turning points to attract more customers. There has been a 133% increase in 2016 in the number of on-the-go F&B business launches compared to 2012. The increase has led to the growing usage of on-demand F&B delivery apps such as Deliveroo, UberEats, and GoFood.

Increase in internet usage and social media adoptions

With just a little over half of Southeast Asia’s population using the internet today, there is still plenty of room for growth. According to research by We Are Social in partnership with Hootsuite, the number of internet and social media users in the region has experienced a 30% increase in 2016, with a sizable population accessing social media via mobile. Mobile is the most popular communication device in Southeast Asia with many users using more than one active SIM card. Increase in internet usage and social media adoption is critical when it comes to supporting an ecosystem of new F&B apps and technology solutions.

Encouragingly, governments in Southeast Asia have also been proactive in pushing forward digital initiatives. In Thailand, for example, The Ministry of Information and Technology launched a US$570 million venture fund in 2016 to support Thai technology start-ups. Responding to the government’s initatives, residents have become more technologically savvy, especially in the capital city of Bangkok, with the strong adoption and participation in technologies such as UberEats and Lineman for on-demand food delivery services.

So how should F&B businesses ride on the growing opportunities in Southeast Asia? If you are already an F&B merchant or technology provider, it is worth looking into a comprehensive F&B digital solution and ecosystem provider where you will have immediate access to an F&B ecosystem that unifies all F&B business needs, while saving you time and money. An ideal F&B digital solutions provider will also allow F&B businesses to fully utilize digital transformation to achieve long-term growth in Southeast Asia.

At Eunoia, we provide a universal, ready-to-use e-commerce platform for F&B businesses and technology providers to rapidly integrate and connect with each other, power innovation, enhance customer engagement, and increase revenue. Eunoia provides an open ecosystem which fosters cross pollination of ideas and cutting-edge solutions that aim to shape the future of the F&B industry. Learn more at www.eunoia.asia!

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