ASEAN market ripe for Australian food innovation

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 22nd September 2018

The ASEAN region’s growth prospects, health profile, and market conditions, coupled with global food trends, have created a perfect storm that Australian agribusinesses and food innovators should take advantage of, according to a new report by CSIRO and KPMG.

The Food for health: Trends and opportunities in health and wellness in the ASEAN region report highlights:


  • ASEAN is a key growth market for “Health & Wellness food and beverage”, one of the fastest growing food segments globally accounting for 20 per cent of the US$2.181 billion global packaged food market.
  • Daily protein consumption in ASEAN has grown by 50 per cent over the past 30 years. The global alternative proteins market is expected to be worth US$5.2 billion by 2020.
  • Over a third of ASEAN consumers are demanding personalised nutrition solutions.
  • The global market for probiotics in ASEAN is growing by 7.1 per cent per year, with the overall market expected to reach US$96 billion by 2020
  • CSIRO and Australian research have created new food technologies and solutions that are ready to meet the needs of the ASEAN market.

Professor Martin Cole, Deputy Director of CSIRO Agriculture and Food, commented: “For the ASEAN region, the links between nutrition and health are increasingly under the spotlight.

“The region is forecast to experience a sharp rise in chronic health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardio vascular disease and cancer.

“The role food and diet can play to prevent these illnesses becomes crucial.

“Using emerging science and Australian innovation in areas such as functional foods, alternative protein, and CSIROs capabilities in digestive testing and modelling means, as a nation, we have a compelling offer to meet the needs of the ASEAN market,” he said.

Also in Australian Food News

The report suggests three core approaches for Australian businesses entering the ASEAN market in health and wellness products:

1.  Personalising to local consumption preferences to specific markets.

Producers need to ensure they meet the specific local needs relevant to preferences in a specific market. Incorporating popular Asian ingredients, marketing and branding products in a tailored way, and utilising emerging channels to market, such as e-commerce, will enable Australian success when looking to success in ASEAN.

 2.  Leveraging consumer awareness on health and wellness and increasing affluence.

As the ASEAN consumer becomes educated on health and wellness they will seek out products to align with their personal requirements.

They also have an increasing ability to pay for premium products, demanding healthier options that concurrently meet the needs of modern lifestyles. The segment is significant and growing – presenting opportunities for stakeholders that can build targeted food solutions with health and wellness at the core.

3.  Partnering for success: Global players, across industries, are recognising the region’s potential for premium health and wellness.

Australia has a strong reputation across ASEAN for being trusted and competent business partners. Using existing relationships and partnering with local stakeholders can drive mutual gain.

Ben van Delden, KPMG Australia Partner and Agtech Sector Leader, said: “Australian food, health and wellness businesses are well-placed for success in ASEAN.

“Australian businesses and researchers are known for their strengths in this area and can apply expertise and creative development to form products and business models that meet the complex needs of the ASEAN consumer.

“However, there is work to be done to finesse market entry approaches and ensure alignment to the complex region and its dynamic base of consumers.”

Collaboration in this growing area is already underway with Singapore’s Nanyang University and the CSIRO recently signing a joint research project in precision health to focus on the importance of gut health and exercise in healthy ageing.