Trends in Malaysia’s Food and Beverage Industry 2018

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The Food and Beverage industry in Malaysia has been growing at around 7% annually over the past few years. The annual income from this industry is around 25 billion euros ($30 billion). This is an industry rich in opportunities for SME investors, both local and foreign. Malaysia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is ranked top 30 in the best places to do business in the world.

Malaysia is a Muslim majority country. Most of the food in the market is marked ‘Halal’ meaning it has been prepared according to proper religious laws. This also translates into an insignificant market for foods and beverages that do not fit proper Muslim laws, for example, pork products and alcohol.

What are some trends observed in Malaysia’s food and beverage industry in 2018 going forward?

Healthy eating

Majority of Malaysia’s 30 million plus population is under 40 years and well educated. The importance of healthy eating and lifestyles is a concern to a big percentage of this population.  Malaysia has a strong culture of eating out as can be seen in Kuala Lumpur’s numerous seafood eateries. This has made a strong comeback as more people prefer freshly cooked food instead of canned food products.

Online orders

Malaysia is a leading tech innovator in Asia. As such, it is natural that more food and beverage businesses are selling online. Online food delivery is becoming common in big cities such as Kuala Lumpur. A good number of online food delivery services have come up with popular names like Food Panda, Pappa delivery, and Uber Eats.

Food sustainability

Like millennials elsewhere around the world, Malaysia’s millennials are concerned about the way food is produced. They want food production that has a lower carbon footprint, uses water efficiently and considers the plight of the less resourced. They want to see reduced waste in packaging. They also want to see more access to healthy food for everyone.

Use of tech in food choices

The power of internet-enabled smart mobile devices has put more information in the hands of many people around the world, Malaysia included. More and more people especially millennials are using technology to make food choices.

Consumers are turning to the internet to ask questions like, what is the best food/drink for post-workout recovery? What is the best food for better skin health? They are also making decisions influenced by what they see on social media, and in turn, generating discussions on food on these platforms.