Vikas Garg, Founder, CEO 'abillion' explains the six top plant-based food trends in Asia. He spoke at the virtual event - Bridge2Food Summit + Expo Plant-Based Foods & Protein Asia 2021
Vegan, entrepreneur and advocate Vikas Garg’s 'abillion' app is there in 150 countries. It has been downloaded almost one million times and is being used from Singapore to Argentina by people who want to live more sustainably. 'abillion' shares feedback and suggestions based on reviews left by users, as well as industry insights gleaned from real consumer data. 'Abillion' brings together social media and commerce – and creates a supportive ecosystem and community.
Here are the top Asian plant-based food trends that are predicted to influence the market.
- Vegan Pork, Chicken and Seafood alternatives are on a rise in Asia – While in European and American markets Vegan beef is the favourite; the Asian market looks beyond beef. Between January 2020 and July 2021, demand for seafood alternatives has increased by 9.4%. This trend is quite evident as the South East Asian plant based food consumer market has always been dominated by fish. 2/3rds of the world’s fish is eaten in Asia.
- Asian plant based food consumers want cooking formats that fit their cuisine – The Asian consumers want pork mince and strips, not just patties. There is a company Karana which is making plant-based pork from jackfruit, and Omni from Hong Kong makes pork mince and strips. There are brands looking ahead of the curve.
- Asian plant based food eaters are looking for vegan versions of local foods, not just raw unflavoured meat but the pre-cooked version with sauces and recipes. This is the reason rendangs, kebabs, dim sums, biryanis.
- Dairy – as an alternative protein has been trending for more than a decade. In Asia dairy products like Soy Milk, Almond Milk and Coconut Milk are not new. People have been using them. In addition, another fastest-growing plant-based dairy product is Oat milk. There is a growing demand for flavoured oat milk like chocolate and vanilla, chai, matcha in the last 6- 12 months. The popular company Oatly has started a joint venture with a local company in Singapore. In addition to Oat milk, a few other bases are being used to make dairy-free milk – hemp, chia seeds, avocado, hazelnut, pistachio.
- Eggs – There is a rise in the use of egg alternatives. The concept of vegan eggs has been there for some time now. Powdered replacements have been in use for baking. Data shows an increased interest in eating egg alternatives like scrambled eggs, omelettes; people want to recreate the look and feel. For the past 6-7 years Just Eggs has been creating egg alternatives. The company is looking towards Singapore for production.
- Labelling promoting health benefits has become big. What is in the food? Where has it come? – Consumers are looking at packaging, ingredients, and health benefits. Dietary preferences, allergens etc mentioned on the labels also make it easier o choose in the increasingly health-conscious world.