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‘Health conscious’ food and beverage brands increasing sales in PH market


By Madelaine B. Miraflor

“Health conscious” food and beverage brands are becoming more popular in the country as the healthy eating trend grows among Filipinos.

Kantar Worldpanel, the global expert in shoppers’ behavior, revealed that Filipinos are slowly becoming more health conscious in their food and beverage choices, opting for “light” variants or those with more nutritional benefits.

Data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that this healthy eating trend is evident in different categories, ranging from cereals to canned meat and yoghurt to beverages.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, which tracks the shopping behavior of 3,000 Filipino homes in urban and rural areas across the country for a period of two years, food categories strongly associated with healthier food choice registered notable growth.

“Though gradual and slow, there are already some notable shifts in the food and beverage preferences of some Filipino consumers,” Lourdes Deocareza, Kantar Worldpanel New Business Development Head said.

“Our findings indicate a change in the lifestyle of Filipinos towards health and wellness, which is a key insight that brands can leverage and focus marketing efforts on when introducing their food and beverage products. With summer just around the corner and the fitness trend booming, brands that can contribute to the health goals and complement the healthy lifestyles of this emerging market will have a higher chance of getting into their shopping baskets,” she added.

From January 2015 to December 2016, total cereal and yoghurt categories enjoyed double-digit growth with 11 percent and 12 percent value sales, respectively. One in eight homes now buy cereals, representing 19 percent growth in buyer base from the previous year (2015).

A much smaller and niche segment, yoghurts, which consists of drinks and cup formats, were purchased by 28 percent of Filipino homes during the same period. Meanwhile, data from Kantar Worldpanel also showed that Filipinos are choosing the healthier options in the canned goods category as well, specifically for luncheon meats and canned tuna.

Although still a tiny segment, luncheon meat variants that are “lite” or contain “less sodium” are being purchased by more shoppers. From 904,000 homes in 2015, these lite variants have increased by 27%, reaching 1.1 million homes in 2016.  Moreover, purchases of canned tuna have also risen by 9%, increasing its reach to 13.9 million homes in 2016.

The healthy trend is also evident in sports and energy drinks in the country. With more and more Filipinos engaging in various fitness activities and sports, purchases of energy drinks gained momentum with 16 percent growth in value sales in 2016.

In addition, ready-to-drink juice brands have been aggressively communicating health-related benefits such as cholesterol management, which could have possibly helped accelerate the category’s growth to 13 percent in 2016.

Though steady in terms of buyer base, this category was able to entice higher spend among its buyers, from P288 in 2015 to P320 in 2016.

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