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Food and Beverages | Thursday, May 26, 2022
APAC consumers are placing increasing importance on healthier processing methods as well as sugar reduction when it comes to making non-alcoholic beverage purchases.
FREMONT, CA: Consumers in the Asia Pacific area are increasingly emphasizing healthy processing methods and sugar reduction when purchasing non-alcoholic beverages. Non-alcoholic beverages are one of the largest food and beverage sectors in the Asia Pacific, with a CAGR of 3.7 per cent expected to reach USD 422.2 billion by 2026, up from USD 352.1 billion in 2021.
In recent years, consumer health and wellness concerns have been among the top industry drivers, with sugar reduction being one of the most significant, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, but there has also been a rise in interest in healthier processing techniques to ensure even healthier beverage consumption. Furthermore, cold processing technology allows manufacturers to employ fewer flavourings and preservatives while maintaining the ideal product taste, resulting in a 'fresher' product. Cold processing isn't just for microenterprises; major companies like Frucor Suntory have recognised the benefits and appeal of this method for consumers in the Oceania region. However, just because processing procedures are significant does not negate the relevance of sugar reduction for beverage manufacturers in the eyes of regulators and customers. Sugar reformulation remains a primary priority for many beverage companies, particularly those with a significant investment in the soft drinks market, such as Coca-Cola.
Apart from lowering the sugar content of Coca-Cola, the company has also altered the product sizes and recipes of numerous other popular soft drinks in its portfolio, such as Sprite and Fanta, to comply with the rising sugar reduction trend. Regulatory regulations in the region, like Singapore's Nutri-Grade labelling system for all pre-packaged non-alcoholic sugar-sweetened beverages by December 2022, are one of the key reasons for this. This labelling scheme will affect nearly all non-alcoholic beverages on the market, from soft drinks to juices to milk beverages and instant powdered beverages, with beverages ranging from A to D in terms of sugar content, and those with a C or D grade must have a Nutri-Grade mark on the front-of-pack.