The Asia Food Challenge 2021 expects healthier food habits to make up 55% of incremental food spend between 2021 and 2030

A new report by PwC, Rabobank and Singapore investment behemoth Temasek has predicted $750 billion of additional food investment (on top of current growth rates) will be required to meet rapidly growing consumer demands by 2030.

“While this investment will need to come from across the value chain, we expect a vast majority – about 60% of this amount, or $450 billion – will be required downstream,” the document states.

The Asia Food Challenge 2021 (TAFC) report has said consumer demands for healthier and more sustainable options are already dictating eating habits in 2021.

It expects healthier food habits will make up 55%, or $2.4 trillion, of incremental food spend between 2021 and 2030, with demand for higher-protein snacks and drinks and low-sugar options currently driving trends in the APAC region.

Population growth and like-for-like price inflation will contribute 33% of Asia’s 7% CAGR growth in food spend between 2019 to 2030, TAFC has estimated.

Meanwhile, China’s huge population is expected to see the most significant increase in consumer-led food spend, spending $1.2 trillion between 2019 and 2030.

Southeast Asian markets are forecast to come in second with a 4.7% CAGR growth rate, while Japan and Korea will grow just 1.4%, representing a combined increase of $100 billion in food spend over the next decade.

Sustainability and protein alternatives are also driving Asian consumers’ evolving habits, with 43% of the Indonesians sampled for the report open to adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet over the next 12 months.

Only 16% of Chinese consumers said they would be willing to become vegan or vegetarian, although 48% of those sampled said they would be open to a flexitarian diet.

Despite this increased awareness in sustainability, 35 billion kilograms of food is wasted per year in China.

According to AgFunder’s AgriFoodTech’s 2021 Investment Report, $2.3 billion was invested in food innovation in 2020, representing a 100% increase year-over-year.

Elsewhere, $5.1 billion was injected into online grocery platforms last year, with 57% of that going to China-focused businesses.

The data also revealed Asia-based alt-protein start-ups received over $230 million in funding between November 2019 and November 2020.

“With the global market for alternative meat estimated to reach $140 billion by 2029, we can expect to see significant investments in improving accessibility, nutrition, acceptance, and price for end consumers. Serving the new Asian palette, adopting new business models in the digital era, and investing in emerging agri-food trends on the horizon will act as an essential guide for those investing in this space,” the report concluded.

Date published: 21 September 2021

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