ANALYSIS - Asia with a rapidly evolving grocery market and a growing middle class is becoming a major target for meat and dairy exporters.
By 2020 Asia will have 59.4 per cent of the total global population and 54 per cent of the global middles class, although these figures are starting to fall as Africa grows among the developing nations.
Speaking at the AHDB Outlook Conference in London market analyst for the Asia Pacific region for IGD, Nick Miles said that in Asia there is an affluence that is growing along with the region’s economy.
Between 2014 and 2020 gross domestic product for the region if forecast to grow at 4.9 per cent year on year.
But the grocery market is expected to see an 8.5 per cent compound annual growth rate. This compares to between two and four per cent for the EU.
Mr Miles said that Asia has now overtake the US for economic output and the grocery market is expected to benefit further from this growth.
While China has seen a slight slowdown in its economic growth in the last couple of years, Mr Miles said that the country was still seeing its economy expand.
All the major Asian markets are witnessing growth with China seeing a nine per cent growth up to 2020, India 12 per cent the Philippines nine per cent Indonesia seven per cent and Pakistan and Viet Nam 14 per cent.
The top 10 Asian markets are expected to have a GDP of $4.3 trillion by 2020.
Mr Miles said that while traditional trade and consumer choices will play a role in the developing Asian markets in the near future, modern trading practices, with modern shops will make up a significant proportion of the market and it will continue to grow.
The two trading practices sit alongside each other in this market because of the wealth disparity and the dense urban nature of the market, with the less well of demanding traditions such as the wet markets.
The growth of the modern trading practices will be driven by the growing middle class and the consumer pressure for quality and freshness and personal service.
Only in the larger more developed economies, such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand, does the market see a small number of large retailers.
National retailers dominate in the growing markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Viet Nam, with China and India having a highly fragmented retail market.
Mr Miles said that in the next five years to 2020, the power of the supermarkets in the region is expected to stagnate or reduce as convenience picks up, driven by modern lifestyles and the demands of busier lives in the towns.
On-line retailing including grocery and meat and dairy products is expected to double in the next five years as internet access becomes more readily available.
Domestic and regional retail chains are leading the way in Asia, with just five international chains based outside Asia – WalMart, Auchan, Tesco, Carrefour and Casino - in the top 20.
“Meat and dairy will continue to benefit for the growth in these retail trends,” Mr Miles said.
With total meat consumption around the world growing by 10 per cent over the next five years, Asia with 13 per cent will be at the forefront of the growth. India is expected to see a 19 per cent growth in meat consumption, and SE Asia 20 per cent.
Africa will have a 22 per cent growth in meat consumption. But developed economies such as the EU will only see a three per cent growth in consumption, the US eight per cent growth and Japan just one per cent.
There is a similar pattern for dairy consumption with Asia driving the global growth of 12 per cent forward. Asia will see 21 per cent growth in consumption n and Africa 17 per cent, but Europe will only have a four per cent growth.
“With rising affluence and a growing middle class, there is a need to satisfy the more sophisticated shopper,” Mr Miles said.
He said that stores and processors were starting to differentiate their products from their rivals on the supermarket shelves and increasing space is being given to these products
The consumers are demanding more and better products with a good provenances and processors are using labels to highlight the health and safety benefits of the products.
Traceability of the products is becoming more and more important, whether domestically produced or imported and there is also a burgeoning organic and natural market appearing in Asia.
He said that stores and processors need to educate the Asian consumer on the products and on the provenance and the supply chain.
The fierce competition means that retailers want to differentiate and with a new middle class there is a huge opportunity for growth.
Mr Miles told the conference that producers and processors and exporters need to vary their approach on a market by market level as there are local nuances within each country that have to be addressed.
“Local understanding is key to success,” he said.
“But Transparency and authenticity will become more and more important.”