Increasing interest in healthier alternatives to boost energy in Asia


More consumers in Asia are now looking towards healthier products that can increase their energy. A recent consumer survey conducted in three Asian countries —Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam — by market research company InSites Consulting, commissioned by BENEO, revealed that improving energy has become increasingly important for close to half of Asians (45 per cent), in light of the pandemic.  

Feeling tired (or a lack of energy) is a health concern for more than a third of consumers in the region. As a result, an overwhelming majority (85 per cent) of consumers in Asia are occasionally or often looking to use products that boost their energy levels. BENEO’s research also shows that certain target groups use such products even more, with 9 in 10 of younger adults (between 18 to 34 years old) and 93 per cent of households with children look for such foods and drinks to boost their energy. 

With 85 per cent of consumers also pledging to make greater attempts to eat and drink healthier to control their future health, this provides an opportunity for products that boost energy in a healthier and balanced way. 

Additionally, the survey results show that about two-thirds of Asian consumers consider products that promote “balanced, steady blood sugar levels” a convincing feature (63 per cent) and believe that low-glycaemic carbohydrates are better for their health (66 per cent). One such carbohydrate that can help these consumers is Palatinose (isomaltulose).

This slow-release carbohydrate already appeals to 79 per cent of Asian consumers as it supports a healthy lifestyle by promoting balanced blood sugar levels and providing sustained energy. The BENEO-commissioned study, for instance, has found that this carbohydrate is particularly appealing to several broad target groups, including parents with young children; those who regularly exercise or engage in sports; as well as gamers. 

Palatinose is naturally derived from pure beet sugar and also occurs in small amounts of honey. It has a natural, mild sugar-like taste with good solubility. Palatinose is also fully yet slowly digested — providing full carbohydrate energy in a balanced and sustained manner. A vast amount of data from over 30 blood glucose response trials have consistently found a lower blood glucose response to Palatinose as compared to sucrose, maltodextrin or other reference carbohydrates.  

“BENEO’s latest survey highlights the increasing interest to boost energy in a healthier wayThis is a trend we have already observed for quite some time, and it has been further accelerated by the pandemic,” said Myriam Snaet, head of Market Intelligence and Consumer Insights at BENEO.

What is key, however, is not just the fact that consumers simply want to stay energised for longer — it is that they are also aware of the importance of a healthy blood glucose level. Low-glycaemic, slow-release carbohydrates are therefore the way to go, in order to keep our blood glucose response under control, and in ensuring that we have enough sustained and balanced energy to go about our day without feeling tired.

“There is therefore an opportunity for food and drink manufacturers to reformulate with healthier, smart-release carbohydrates that meet consumers’ needs of delivering energy in a balanced, sustained manner, especially with the greater interest for improved energy levels across different consumers in the region. 


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