Taiwan’s food market is worth over US$ 43 billion and the 5th highest per capita spending on food products in Asia, behind only the region’s wealthiest markets, such as Singapore and Japan.
Along with these other wealthy Asian markets, Taiwan is leading the shift among consumers in the region towards higher protein, healthier, and more varied diets.
Like many high-income markets, Taiwanese consumers are increasingly health conscious and less price sensitive. Demand is shifting in favor of reputable foreign brands, better quality, lower sugar, and an openness to what is new or novel. Young consumers, in particular, want foods and brands that fit their desired lifestyle.
With many Taiwanese being Buddhist, vegetarianism is common making the island a ready destination for emerging food categories. Meat and dairy equivalents that are free from any animal products—such as those offered by Beyond Meat (meat replacements) and Oatly (dairy replacements)—can take advantage of a modest but ready market enjoying high year-on-year growth. Being organic, environmentally conscious, or ethically sourced foods are also becoming strong selling points, particularly among young, well-educated, and urbane consumers. This trend is set to grow.
Demand for food in Taiwan is outpacing growth in local wages, in large part because much of that growth is in disposable income. Consumers in Taiwan are upgrading their lifestyle, seeking greater variety, more novelty, and higher-quality food options.
This presents an attractive opportunity for brands large and small offering healthy options that fit into a modern—often urban and convenience-focused—positive lifestyles. Though only just starting to make headway in many Asian markets, brands and products oriented around being environmentally and socially responsible will be well-positioned to match consumer demands long-term.