IGD’s head of Asia-Pacific Nick Miles said convenience stores in Vietnam were shifting from traditional to modern trade.
Miles said this was driven by “a positive economic outlook, a significant increase in gross domestic product per capita, deregulated markets encouraging more foreign investment and rapidly changing shopper habits”.
He added: “Across all the region’s key growth markets, we expect to see retailers and manufacturers increasing their investment in convenience, championing innovative new products and formats such as food-to-go, and working collaboratively to ensure they are making the most of these growth prospects.”
‘Manufacturers increasing their investment in convenience’
The Asian grocery market was forecast to grow 6.3% to £3.8tr by 2021. IGD forecast the largest growth in Vietnam, the Philippines (24.2%) and Indonesia (15.8%).
The Middle East and Asia were presenting “huge opportunities” for exporters, according to Promar International divisional director John Giles.
Speaking at the Food Manufacture Group’s Business Leaders’ Forum held in London in January, Giles said that while there were opportunities, the UK would be competing against already established trade partners in Asia.
“It could take five or 10 years to negotiate full access to some of these markets and it could take another five or 10 years to actually implement the access,” he cautioned.
‘Opportunities in Asia and the Middle East’
“So, clearly, there are opportunities in Asia and the Middle East, but we are not the first ‘cab on the rank’ in many of those markets and we find that other countries have been out there for some time.”
Meanwhile, China was the fastest growing market for UK food and non-alcoholic drink, with sales up by 51.1% to £439.5M.
China’s demand for branded UK food and non-alcoholic drink soared by 50% last year to £84.7M.