Southeast Asian Consumers Love Trying New Products!

24 June 2015

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According to a new report just released by Nielsen, consumers in Southeast Asia show a strong affinity for brands which are investing in new product development and are among the most likely globally to trial new product offerings.

The Nielsen Global New Product Innovation Survey polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries to understand consumer attitudes and sentiments about the drivers behind new product purchase intent.

Consumers across the globe are enthusiastic about new products, but their purchasing patterns vary widely. The survey results show that consumers in developing markets are more inclined to try new products and they lead the way in self-reporting purchasing - close to three quarters of Southeast Asian consumers (73%) said they purchased a new product during their last grocery shopping trip (16% higher than the global average of 57%).

About two thirds of Malaysian consumers prefer to buy new products from brands which are familiar to them (63% compared to 59% globally) and liked it when manufacturers offer new product options (63% versus 62% globally).

The survey results also revealed a third of Malaysians say they are an early purchaser of new product innovation (33% versus 39% globally).

When it comes to obtaining information on new products, television advertising plays a key role – 10% of Malaysian consumers rank television as their number one source of new product information and 46% rank television advertising in their top five sources.

Recommendations from family and friends along with the internet are also key influences of new product trials, with 58% Malaysians ranking family and friends in their top five sources of new product information and 40% ranking active internet searching in their top five sources. (See Chart 1).

CHART 1: Malaysian consumer’s top five sources of information on new products

Source: Nielsen Global New Product Innovation Survey 2015

“Consumers throughout Southeast Asia have a strong appetite for innovation and they are increasingly demanding and expecting better choice”, observes Johan Vrancken, Head of Nielsen’s Innovation Practice in Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific.

“But success can be hard to come by. Brand competition is intense and shelves are crowded so knowing the channels which are most effective in delivering new product information is crucial”, he added.

The Nielsen report also revealed a third of Malaysian consumers quote affordability as the key driver of new product trial (34%) followed by personal recommendation (32%) and family suitability (31%). (See Chart 2).

CHART 2: Malaysian consumer’s top 10 drivers of new product purchases

Source: Nielsen Global New Product Innovation Survey 2015

In terms of new product demand, Malaysians indicated products which centered on affordability (57%), convenience (37%), health (36%) and natural ingredients (34%) as key focus. (See Chart 3).

CHART 3: Top 10 new products that Malaysian consumers wished were on the market but are not

Source: Nielsen Global New Product Innovation Survey 2015

The Nielsen Global New Product Innovation Survey was conducted between Feb. 23, 2015, and Mar. 13, 2015, and polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America to understand consumer attitudes and sentiments about the drivers behind new product purchase intent. In Malaysia, the sample size is 513. For the purposes of this study, we define a new product as any item a consumer has never purchased in the past. The study uncovers the reasons for making a new product purchase, identifies the types of products consumers want but can’t find, and details the sources consumers use to learn about them. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.


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