03 June 2019

By Philexport News and Features

Published also in Business Mirror

DEMAND for fresh food is expected to increase in Thailand, as more consumers become health conscious.

The Euromonitor Digest, the online publication of the Export Marketing Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), also noted the rise of food service operators serving less processed and more natural food options.

“As Thailand develops, consumers’ lives are becoming increasingly fast-paced, and they have little time to cook. At the same time, consumers now perceive health as a lifestyle choice, and are willing to pay for foods that offer better nutrition and fewer preservatives,” it said.

The report said fresh food is perceived as superior to packaged food, as it is lower in preservatives and fully natural. The broader availability of organic fresh food through modern grocery retailers and online channels has made it easier for consumers to consider organic options, it noted.

“Consumers are demanding convenience, affordability and nutrition, with less regard for product prices. Price is no longer the main deciding factor in the purchasing decision. Provenance, quality and nutritional benefits are accorded higher weight compared with price,” it added.

The Euromonitor Digest further said it is likely that consumers will gradually look for more convenient food products with extra health benefits. “Fresh food manufacturers are likely to respond with value-added products which speed up the food preparation process in exchange for higher price points,” it said.

The report further said consumers are choosing to eat out at organic restaurants or order healthy food delivery to justify their lack of cooking with the aim of achieving a healthy work-life balance amid busy lifestyles.

 “In this regard, more restaurants and food delivery services are meeting consumer demands by providing healthier, organic, low calorie or superfood-rich options. Hence, there is expected to be a greater need for fresh food for food service,” it added.