Top three soft drinks trends established post-COVID-19 in Southeast Asia in 2021/22, according to GlobalData

Southeast Asia is home to more than 655 million consumers contributing around a quarter of total soft drinks consumption in *Asia. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to some drastic changes in the region with the manufacturers strategizing to deal with the challenges and the evolving consumer needs, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Sheryl Gajete, Beverages Analyst at GlobalData, comments on how these emerging trends are set to shape the industry over the coming years:

Bring the party back home

“Prior to COVID-19, out-of-home soft drinks consumption in Southeast Asia accounted for 26% of the total market, outpacing growth of the off-premise market during *2019. However, these channels were naturally decimated during lockdown, as consumers were forced to refocus on social and leisure occasions in their homes.

“Manufacturers were quick to reformulate their offerings and leverage new e-commerce channels. Bigger packaging sizes and multipacks were pushed to cash-in on-home consumption occasions, while we’ve also seen an effort to capitalize on nostalgia. For instance, Malaysian coffee brands like Nescafe and Kopi Tarik offer iced/RTD coffee products that taste like those which are offered in kopitiam or traditional coffee shops. Meanwhile, Thailand has seen the emergence of ‘barista edition’ and ‘drip coffee’ for retail, enabling café style coffee concoctions at home.”

Korean Wave is here to stay

“Hallyu or Korean Wave continues to take Southeast Asia by storm. This year, PepsiCo teamed up with K-pop group BlackPink as brand ambassadors for Asia and the Pacific, leveraging limited edition products and marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, Malaysia and Singapore’s 7-Eleven retailer introduced limited edition HY Coffee Range in collaboration with K-pop group BTS. Korean personalities were also tapped as endorsers of new product introductions. Camu C partnered with heartthrob Kim Soo Hyun as the face of its new functional beverage.

“Increased social media and online usage has massively supported this burgeoning trend, particularly among the regions youths, and was only exasperated further by the pandemic which saw more people at home – and consequently engaging in the Hallyu culture. We are likely to see this only grow over the next year, as these partnerships help brands to communicate and engage with their younger clientele.”

Immunity is the key to the heart

“Southeast Asia witnessed a boom in functional soft drinks which are fortified with vitamins and minerals and are positioned to improve the body’s resistance to diseases. Vitamin C, which is widely known in the region as immunity booster featured in a lot of new product innovations.

“In fact, GlobalData’s latest survey reveals that **42% of people in the region find immunity boosting claims to be very appealing. Because of this, manufacturers across Southeast Asia banked on the popularity of Vitamin C offering products that claims to have 100%-200% recommended daily dose for this nutrient, and has proved popular across all categories including enhanced water, still drinks, iced/RTD tea, and energy drinks. With the threat of new variants in the coronavirus emerging, it is likely that this heightened demand for fortified beverages will remain strong long into 2022.”

*Data taken from GlobalData’s Intelligence Centre
**Data taken from GlobalData’s Q2 2021 Consumer Survey Results – Asia & This consumer survey was carried out in February 2021 in 42 countries globally, with a sample size of 500 respondents per country. Qualifying respondents were aged 16 or above. Samples are nationally representative of age and gender. The survey mode is online and self-complete.

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