(Marketingmagazine.com.my) – Online engagement is reshaping the way consumers in the Asia Pacific region shop, buy, prepare and share their experiences with food, although personal experiences and interactions still matter alongside the increasing influence of digital media, according to the Asia Pacific Food Forward Trends Report II, published by Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global public relations firms.
The report reveals several trends across four countries – Australia, China, Korea and Singapore – that provide insight about how food brands and retailers can better engage audiences, including:
- the impact of social media on knowledge, insight and cooking confidence;
- the slow but steady adoption of online shopping in the grocery sector;
- the impact of increased convenience & influence of popular food culture on the home chef; and
- consumer scrutiny of the influence of celebrity endorsements.
“Our Asia Pacific Food Forward Trends Report II reveals that access to information and shared experiences through the continued growth and sheer number of digital and social platforms in the region continues to shift people’s relationship with food and the way in which they engage with food brands,” said Ian Rumsby, Chief Strategy Officer, Asia Pacific.
Asia Pacific Food Forward Trends Report II draws on insights from qualitative interviews with food industry experts, including food writers, chefs, bloggers, nutritionists and researchers, as well as from a survey of more than 3,000 consumers, in partnership with online research software provider Qualtrics.
I Heart Food: Asia’s Online Foodie Culture Thrives
Social networking platforms are increasingly becoming a place where consumers and companies alike can make meaningful connections around food. The report finds that four in ten consumers in Singapore (40%) and Korea (42%) and six in ten consumers in China (62%) post about their food experiences on social media once a month or more. Interestingly, 17% of Chinese respondents and 8% of Koreans post at least once a day. Australians are less active with just 29% posting once a month or more.
The Click Clique
Consumers are also increasingly more comfortable using digital platforms to purchase food. Over the past 12 months in particular, there has been a noticeable shift in online food shopping habits. More than three out of four respondents in China (76%) and more than half of respondents in Singapore (58%) and Korea (52%) said they had increased their online food shopping in the past year. In Australia, nearly half (46%) of respondents said the same.
However, while online sales of food and drink is one of the most exciting opportunities in the sector, it has some way to go before it overtakes more traditional means of purchase. Over two thirds of consumers in Australia (70%) and Singapore (66%) and nearly half in China (48%) said they most often purchase their food at the local supermarket. In Korea, discount stores were the most popular choice (63%).
Would you say your online food purchasing has increased in the past year?
Eating at Home or Away, the Preference Gap Narrows
The increase of healthy home cooking options, prevalence of home delivery services and the growing influence of popular food culture are giving Asia Pacific home chefs plenty of reasons to eat at home. In Australia, three quarters (76%) of respondents eat a home-cooked meal on most days. Meanwhile, Chinese consumers are more likely (50%) than their Singaporean (40%) or Korean (34%) counterparts to eat a home-cooked meal during the week.
The growth in television shows profiling amateur cooks may also be encouraging people to try new at-home cooking experiences. In fact, over 80% of consumers surveyed said they would try new recipes when cooking, even if only sometimes.
Celebrities, Food and the Endorsement Recipe
Celebrity endorsement may be embraced by some retail sectors, but when it comes to food and restaurants, only Chinese respondents suggested it had influence over their buying habits. Nearly three quarters (73%) of Chinese respondents said they were more likely to buy a product or visit a restaurant on account of its endorsement by a celebrity chef or brand ambassador. But in Singapore and Korea, just 21% of respondents said they would react favourably to an endorsement. In Australia, only 16% said the same. The most influential source of information or endorsement in all four markets was a recommendation from a friend or family member.
Rumsby added, “Food producers, brands and service providers wanting to create a product or experience that meets the needs of their audience need to focus on a targeted marketing communications strategy that watches, listens and engages with its key consumers across all relevant channels – particularly digital, given these findings.”
The complete Asia Pacific Food Forward Trends Report II is available at
14 September, 2015
Grand Ballroom, Sime Darby Convention Centre
The Next Best Thing is You!
As creativity embraces a myriad of media possibilities, new skill sets come into play in our borderless world.
This global gathering of breakthrough thinkers will inspire marketers and the creative community in Malaysia
to excel beyond the sea of sameness. Marketing communications professionals who want to lead change
and profit from better creativity will win at this one-day phenomenal event.
KEYNOTE: Tham Khai Meng – Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy & Mather, New York
• Nils Andersson – President & Chief Creative Officer TBWA\ Greater China
• Merlee Jayme – Chairman & Chief Creative Officer DM9 Jayme Syfu, Philippines
• Yasu Sasaki – Executive Creative Director Dentsu Aegis Network/Dentsu Inc.
• Sonal Dabral – Chairman & Chief Creative Officer DDB Mudra Group, India
• Vinod Savio- Integrated Creative Director DDB Group/Tribal Worldwide, Singapore
• Steve Molloy – Creative Director & App Strategist, LOMAH Studios, Sydney
• Pat Law – Founder of Social Influence Agency GOODSTUPH ￼￼￼
• Steve Lawler – Head of Creative, Kult Magazine