As of 2016, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region accounted for about 32 percent of the world’s health and wellness market for packaged food and beverages, reaching retail value sales of US$208 billion—the largest health and wellness market worldwide.
Overall, APAC witnessed relatively robust growth of 5 percent from 2015 to 2016, due in part to rising health awareness, increasingly pressing health concerns such as obesity or diabetes and rising affluence among Asian consumers. These factors have led to increased demand for healthier food and drink products in the region. Growth in 2016 was led by a mix of developed and emerging markets—China, Japan and India—which are the three largest health and wellness APAC markets in retail value sales.
Euromonitor International’s health and wellness research tracks four key health and wellness product types across both packaged food and beverages: fortified/functional, better-for-you (i.e. reduced sugar, caffeine or fat content), naturally healthy, and organic; as well as an additional category covering packaged food products that are ‘free from’ (i.e. gluten-free, lactose-free, etc.)
On a global level, fortified/functional and naturally healthy food and drink products led the health and wellness industry in 2016 with a 35 percent share of retail values sales each. Trends in APAC, however, differ with fortified/functional products markedly in the lead with a 46% share of retail value sales in 2016.
Euromonitor International defines fortified/functional products as products to which health ingredients have been added. In other words, this refers to products that have been actively enhanced or fortified during production with additional amounts of healthy ingredients (e.g. calcium, omega-3) that would not normally be found in that product. Naturally healthy refers to food and beverages that naturally contain a substance that improves health and wellbeing beyond the product’s pure calorific value without being additionally fortified, such as naturally healthy high fibre bread.
Health and wellness trends also vary slightly within packaged food and drinks. Packaged food retail sales in APAC are led by fortified/functional product types, followed by naturally healthy products. The reverse is true for health and wellness beverage sales, which are led by naturally healthy products, and then followed by fortified/functional products, thanks to strong natural mineral or spring water sales.
By 2021, health and wellness packaged food and beverages in the region are expected to grow by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4 percent. Fortified/functional and naturally healthy products will continue to capture the largest share of retail value sales within packaged food and drinks. At the same time, China, Japan and India will retain their ranks as the top three APAC markets for health and wellness in terms of retail value sales, with regional market shares of 55 percent, 20 percent and 7 percent respectively due to a variety of factors, including the size of their consumer base, demographic and regulatory trends and rising consumer knowledge/sophistication.
Reema Jagtiani is an analyst at Euromonitor International. She will be speaking in the Vitafoods Asia 2017 Conference on identifying opportunites for health and wellness packaged food and beverage in APAC on 6th September at 10am. Click here to register to attend the conference.