In the last two years, Symrise has conducted a global study on the perception of naturalness covering Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Africa and Middle East as well as Latin America. More than 13,500 consumers have been engaged globally in five field researches run by the Sensory and Consumer Insights department at Symrise. The studies have explored the attitude and perception of consumers around naturalness in foods and beverages. A first outlook on the results gives insights into the preferences related to naturalness in the Asia Pacific Region.
Consumers in Asia too, love the taste of nature and are increasingly demanding more naturalness. Food and beverage companies are catering to this need with natural product solutions and find it often challenging to best meet consumer’s expectations and comply with a complex regulatory environment. Tapping on the key competences of Symrise Global Sensory and Consumer Insights in Asia, Symrise has decoded the key consumer wishes to help its customers create and deliver relevant, great tasting natural products supported by its code of nature solutions.
This dedicated approach helped us to understand the relevance of impactful natural taste solutions for consumers in China, Japan, Australia and Thailand. Having conducted its customized consumer study in Q4/2018, Symrise Asia Pacific (APAC) was aiming at decoding the natural dimensions of four product segments: flavored water, ready to drink (RTD) tea, drinking yogurt and ready meals. Symrise selected these countries and segments based on their relevance and potential for food and beverage companies in APAC.
Key insights from Symrise Asia Pacific Customised Consumer Naturalness Study
In APAC as in other regions, the new era of naturalness is evolving fast and in diverging directions. While a broad variety of aspects contribute to a natural product perception, consumer expectations on what “natural” means to them can also differ from region to region. It ranges from knowing exactly the type of ingredients, where the ingredients in their food come from and the preparation method.
To receive a general picture first, the APAC study has summed up the market segments that are potentially more willing to pay a premium for products with natural taste solutions. They include ingredient source seekers, quality-seeking, affluent, health-conscious shoppers and ultimate truth seekers. They represent a large portion of consumers: 49 per cent in Japan, 42 per cent in Australia, 35 per cent in Thailand, 27 per cent in China. The remaining market belongs to the profile of budget or brand conscious, with the latter still ranking the attribute “source of ingredients” very high, in all categories and countries.
In all countries, “no additives” is one in the top 3 attributes driving naturalness perception in all categories, except for drinking yogurt in Thailand, for which “health attributes” prevail. The second most frequent desired attribute cross-country and cross-category is “contains real ingredients” (e.g. fruit extracts or natural fruit juice).
China is the country where natural taste solutions show the biggest potential for food and beverages, with consumers asking for safety and health credential while taste remains a priority.
Among the different categories, Beverage is the one where the potential to leverage naturalness as a purchase driver is larger, especially in Flavored Water, with high opportunities in all countries.
Both in Japan and Australia the size of opportunity looks high for flavored water and medium for RTD tea. Flavored waters are particularly expected to be safe for long term consumption, with strong interest for “organic” and “low/no sugar claims”. In RTD tea, there is a lot of emphasis on “taste authenticity” (e.g. “freshly brewed taste”) and on “organic”, especially among ingredient source seekers and health conscious premium.
“Symrise aims to work with our customers to decode the full insights from the study and to combine them with their brands and needs to deliver winning products, to unlock their business potential in Asia Pacific with Symrise code of nature® solutions. For this reason, Symrise continues to strongly invest in Asia Pacific and works to bring to market natural solution that consumer loves” said Mr Lionel Flutto, President, Flavor, Asia Pacific, Symrise.