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THAIFEX Trend Topics
The world of food and beverage, whilst sustaining the basic needs of the worldwide consumers, is simultaneously evolving through innovations and trends. New products line the shelves every day and food labels get more transparent as consumers audit the end products. THAIFEX – World of Food Asia understands the importance of the food and beverage development and identifies the major food trends for the global market.
Check out the topics below to find out more!

Formal mealtimes are continuing to decline in popularity and growing numbers of foods and drinks are now considered to be snacks. Quick, healthy foods are tending to replace traditional meal occasions and more snacks are targeted at specific moments of consumption, with different demand influences at different times of the day. (Source)


Economies all over the world have benefited from the franchise model and it is not a secret that franchising is a global success story that offers products and services in more than 300 business categories, including F&B. 

As Asia continues to welcome new franchise brands, it encourages the cross-pollination of brand diversity across the region, especially in the developing countries where a lot of middle-income individuals will start to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. 

Businesses that can react and adapt to industry trends while retaining the essence of their brand will definitely benefit from the hype. Additionally, international franchises can also consider localizing their offerings by adapting it to consumer tastes and preferences in the market. 

“Banks in the developing countries look upon franchising as a stable mode of growth and are often willing to fund these investments for the potential franchisees,” she shares. (Source 1)(Source 2)


Gluten-free products are now entering mainstream market, as a part of a larger agenda of clean label formulating.

Data from both global product launches and consumer surveys show that gluten-free is not going away, but rather found a place in the mainstream. Recognizing that gluten-free is a selling point to some consumers, food and beverage manufacturers are making the effort to formulate gluten-free. With consumer interest in nutrient-dense ingredients, including those with high protein, the market is expecting more gluten-free products to highlight higher-protein ingredients like teff, quinoa and other alternative grains and healthful seeds.


Halal certification is increasing in importance in order to cater for growing Muslim populations outside of the Middle East and Asia. In addition, growth in trade with the Islamic Middle East and South East Asian markets present export opportunities for food and beverage manufacturers, whereby halal certification is a necessity.

Analysis of new global product launches with a halal certified claim increased by +13% from 2015 to 2016 according to Innova Market Insights data. Traditionally, while most halal certified claims are found on product launches tracked in the Middle East and Asia regions, there is evidence of growth (+9.45% CAGR, 2016 vs. 2011) for halal certified product launches found outside of these regions. Halal certification is widespread for many product types, with leading sub-categories for global product launch activity tracked in 2016 being sweet biscuits/cookies (8.9%) and savory/salty snacks (4.7%). An increased prevalence of halal certified products on supermarket shelves around the globe is anticipated.

THAIFEX TREND Health & Functional  Food

Well over 40% of global food and drinks launches tracked by Innova Market Insights in 2016 were positioned on a health platform of some kind, with just 10.7% being positioned on an “active” or functional health platform as opposed to a “passive” health positioning (e.g. low fat). The situation in Europe is very similar with only 9.2% of all product launches being actively health positioned for the same period. The number of functional or “active” health claims in Europe has stabilized in the wake of tightening claims regulations and other overarching health trends, such as clean label, having an impact on functional new product innovations.

Consumers are increasingly looking to inherent health benefits from natural ingredients which convey “better-for-you appeal”. The EU claim the regulation situation has necessitated a rethink by companies already in the market. They are often looking to the use of softer claims while benefiting from existing consumer awareness of the potential benefits of certain products and ingredients.


Kosher foods that conform to Jewish dietary law are increasing in prevalence worldwide according to Innova Market Insights new product launch data. New products with a kosher claim increased by 24% from 2014 to 2015 and further increased by 6% from 2015 to 2016. This indicates that food manufacturers are recognizing the significant market potential that kosher certification can offer.

There is considerable variation among regions for the availability of kosher products. North America was responsible for a 63% share of all kosher product launches tracked in 2016, followed by Latin America (10%), West Europe (8%), Asia (7%) and the Middle East (6%). The leading global market sub-categories in 2016 for kosher claims were savory/salty snacks (4.2%) followed by bouillons/stocks/seasonings/herbs (4.1%) and baking ingredients and mixes (4.1%). The growth of new products with kosher claims should accelerate in regions in which there is most demand for kosher product convenience.

THAIFEX TREND Organic Products

With growing awareness of health and the environment by consumers, the ambiguity surrounding what exactly constitutes “natural” and the drive for cleaner labels, the global organic market is in a good position to capitalize. In addition, a growing band of consumers are being influenced by cleaner eating diet trends and may well gravitate towards organic while also eliminating from their diets all junk food, processed food, sugar and food additives.

Organic food choices are growing with 9.5% of total global product launches tracked in 2016 by Innova Market Insights having an organic positioning. This is a significant increase from just 6.6% tracked in 2010. The leading market sub-categories for new organic product launches in 2016 are: tea (6.1%), baby meals (5.9%), vegetables (4.7%) and juice and juice drinks (3.9%).

There is considerable variation among regions in terms of percentage of total products having an organic positioning. North America had the highest percentage share in 2016, with organic representing 14% of total product launches tracked, followed by Europe (12.6%) and Australasia (6.4%), with the remaining regions each all having under a 5% share.

THAIFEX TREND Private Labels

Global economic recovery is well underway but the gains made by private labels throughout the downturn are only being further consolidated. While significant gains are being made in terms of the private-label share of tracked global product launch activity, private-label product launch penetration varies worldwide. In 2016, according to new product launch data tracked by Innova Market Insights on a regional basis, private-label penetration is highest in Europe at 26.1%, and lowest in Asia at 8.8%. Brand loyalty in emerging markets is proving to be a challenge for private-label development, so consolidation in developed markets is vital in which innovation plays a pivotal role.

THAIFEX TREND Vegan Products

The veganism way of living revolves around a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey, as well as products such as leather and any tested on animals. It has been receiving a lot of attention of late. Constant concern regarding sustainability and the global food chain has been the catalyst behind the surge in new product developments based on plants. This in turn has resulted in growth for products suitable for vegans and accordingly an increase in products being positioned on vegan platforms. Food manufacturers are indeed accommodating this lifestyle trend with many products promoting their plant content with claims such as “plant powered” or “plant-based” having front-of-pack prominence

THAIFEX TREND Vegetarian Products

The ongoing concern for future sustainability of the global food chain and ingredient source transparency is having far reaching consequences for food manufacturers and consumers alike. One area of new product development to benefit from a continued focus on sustainability and health in general is vegetarian foods. Innova Market Insights revealed an 18% increase in tracked global product launches with a vegetarian positioning from 2014 to 2015, and a further 2% increase from 2015 to 2016. Growth may stagnate for vegetarian positioned new product launch activity in preference to using the more specific vegan positioning due to the increasing popularity of this lifestyle trend.

This renewed interest in vegetables and their inherent health benefits should inspire and further drive innovation by food manufacturers in producing, for example, more exciting and tasty meat substitutes, vegetarian ready meals and meal kits. In regard to meat substitutes in particular, what is most interesting is the breadth of products now available, providing consumers with a lot more choice and also convenience.

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