Food Vision Asia 2016 preview

Asian tastes: Out with the old, in with the new trends

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Protein

Jane Barnett, Mintel's head of insight, looks at some of the most pressing current consumer trends in Asia-Pacific while bidding a not-so-fond farewell to the nutritional villains of the last year.

Jane Barnett will elaborate on the trends that are set to impact Asia’s food and drink market in 2016 at Food Vision Asia, which takes place in Singapore on April 27-29—the first time the professional forum will take place in this region.

The event, which is organised by William Reed Business Media, publisher of FoodNavigator-Asia, is well-established in Europe and America, where annually it brings food industry innovators, strategists and analysts together to discuss market challenges, business opportunities and what today’s consumers really want.

The programme for the Asia event​ was released recently, and includes a session led by Barnett, who will look at how established Asian food and drink trends from one area are migrating to new regions, while emerging trends have the potential to disrupt the worldwide landscape. 

She will also explore how these accelerating changes and offer a clear insight to a rapidly evolving marketplace and set an agenda for the direction of innovation within Asia’s food industry.

For more information on Food Vision Asia, visit


Transcription of the video:

Narrator:​ Mintel, the global market researcher, has its finger on the pulse in consumer trends in Asia-Pacific. Jane Barnett, an analyst for the company, offers us a selection of insights of what's happening in Southeast Asia.

Jane Barnett:​ So, a couple of key areas that we're focusing on at the moment. There's a really great trend around Eastern ingredients in traditional medicine — countries using it in their own countries. There's a great product out of Thailand, called Habu [SP] which really incorporates a lot of traditional Thai medicine in its formulation. Something that used to be done in the kitchen at home, now being packaged up and sold. What we're also seeing are those Eastern trends moving into Western markets. Great example of that is Jamu [SP]. Jamu is traditional Indonesian medicine and we're seeing a number of products launching into the US market that are highlighting these Indonesian elixir and discussing its health benefits and goodness when you drink it.

A couple of other spaces that we're looking at are health, which is always a very important place within product development, and some of the more novel areas, I suppose you could say, insect protein. So insect protein is something that we're seeing getting more substance. It's definitely still an emerging area. Very high levels of protein. It's also very sustainable as well and so we've seen some launches in the US market harnessing cricket flower protein into their energy bars. So some interesting developments from a company called Chapel that have a large range — well, four different products in their product range that cover areas like the inclusion of cricket flower and different flavours like Thai flavours, Aztec flavours and Japanese flavours.

Another product that we've seen recently is, I guess, it's that elusive search for the next coconut water. So what will be that next beverage that really grabs the consumer's attention? One of the ones that we've seen is so birch water. So birch water is the collection of the birch sap that comes from the birch trees that are normally found in Northern Hemisphere. They're very high in antioxidants and full of other macro-nutrients as well. So that's being harvested and turned into a consumer packaged goods and we're seeing a number of drinks come through into the market having that as their main selling point.

Narrator:​ Trends change over time and they come and go. Have that being any notable departures of the last year? Jane Barnett says it's all about the villains.

Janet Barnett:​ We see some trends definitely phased out, or the focus might change, so we know that a few years back, the villain in the health market was fat and everyone was talking about how bad fat is. We now see a new villain is sugar and nobody want sugar in formulation anymore. So, we've seen fat had this real cyclical movement and now we're saying fat come back but being talked about in a good way. So the use of, you know, coconut oils and almond oils, and how good they are for your health rather than that negative appeal that was always spoken about when it came to fat.

Narrator:​ This is Richard Whitehead, of FoodNavigator-Asia, in Bangkok.

Related topics Markets