Changing Thai tastes mean opportunity for packaging manufacturers

Wednesday, 19 March, 2014

Thai consumers are embracing processed foods, with consumption of prepared meals expected to increase at a CAGR of 9.8%, according to a new report from Canadean. In contrast, demand in other south-east Asian countries is not expected to grow at such a rapid rate. Canadean forecasts growth rates of 6.0% and 2.3% for Indonesia and the Philippines respectively.

Organised retail is growing as consumer preferences shift from non-processed to processed packaged food, says Ronan Stafford, Senior Analyst at Canadean.

“Today’s packaging manufacturers should adapt to increasingly target the growing organised retail and processed food markets where light, convenient and easy-to-use packaging is key,” Stafford said.

The expansion of new retail formats in Thailand is expected to drive the demand for processed packaged food. While the open markets, independent and traditional stores are the leading distribution channels in Thailand, hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores are gaining ground. Increasing urban populations have helped these format stores gain traction.

Demand and growth in the Thai packaging market by material.

Packaging materials and equipment manufacturers will have to work to keep up with demand, Canadean says. For instance, the growing popularity of processed food and packaged water means that demand for rigid plastic packaging is expected to grow twice as fast from 2013 to 2016 as demand for paper and board packaging will.

Packaging manufacturers can take advantage of this increased demand, Canadean says, by using techniques such as lightweighting, which can reduce the overall cost of the product, providing benefits for both consumer and manufacturer.

These findings are based on the Canadean report ‘Latest Trends and Key Issues in the Thailand Retail Packaging Market’.

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