Growth and shifts in demand for beverages in Asia

As economies, incomes, and spending increase throughout Asia, demand for imported, higher-quality, and healthier beverages is fast-growing as well.

Soft Drinks

The foreseeable future of soft drink demand in Asia belongs to emerging markets in the region, such as China and Malaysia which are set to enjoy sales of nearly US$41 billion and US$1.8 billion, respectively in 2021.

At the same time, high-income markets like Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will remain stable sources of demand, particularly for higher-quality products. These markets saw over US$7 billion in sales in 2020.

Demand is shifting away from high-sugar options in favor of novel flavors, health-focused beverages that support consumers’ lifestyle goals. Similarly, more consumers are seeking out sports and energy drinks that enable what many consumers consider a high energy and healthy modern lifestyle This is particularly true among young, urbane, well-educated consumers in the region’s mega cities.

Juice

Demand for juice in China and Malaysia—with similar per capita incomes—remains focused on well-known varieties and lower-priced options, but demand for high-quality, health-focused, and organic options is increasing. Wealthier markets, such as Singapore and Hong Kong are already showing strong demand for higher priced and health-focused options where consumers are less price sensitive and place higher value on fostering a healthy lifestyle.

Although indigenous juices—such as mango and pineapple—have outsized shares of Asia’s juice market, demand for ‘super food’ juices, organics, berries and other juices from outside of the region is growing rapidly.

Juice sales in Asia are set to hit nearly US$27 billion in 2021 with a CAGR of nearly %6 through 2025.

Coffee & Tea

Japan leads with coffee sales worth $34.45 billion in 2020 and growth remains steady. China is already the second largest coffee market ($14.25 billion), recently overtaking South Korea ($12.6B), and enjoying near double digit year-on-year growth.

Given the size of its population, room for economic growth, and a CAGR of nearly 11% in coffee sales, Indonesia will soon overtake South Korea as well and going head-to-head with China as the biggest coffee drinkers.

In Taiwan convenience is king. With a CAGR of 7.31% and increased demand for fresher coffees and a personalized drinking experience, it is a well-rounded high-growth market for coffee brands of all types.

Consumers in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau—already accustomed to sipping a hot cup in the morning—remain excellent markets for any coffee brands offering high-quality, novelty, or both. Far from being saturated, these coffee markets are still enjoying annual growth of over 5%

Malaysia, more populous than Taiwan yet similarly wealthy as China, is an often-overlooked opportunity for coffee brands in Asia. Situated next Singapore, English-speaking, and enjoying nearly 7% growth in coffee sales annually, its $1.1 billion market has considerable room for growth and an openness to new brands.

Alcohol

Sales of alcohol are rising across Asian markets. China’s spirits and beer markets are worth over US$130 billion and $60 billion, respectively. Asia’s wealthier markets, such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau are all seeing increased demand for foreign alcohol brands. Growth for whiskey, more flavorful beers, wine, low-alcohol, and alcopop beverages is particularly strong, with young urban consumers leading the way.

Outlook

The outlook for beverages in Asia is bright at least through 2030 and likely beyond as the bulk of Asia’s consumers in emerging markets remain young and those in more mature markets enjoy steady income increases and more disposable income. Beverage brands prepared to enter—and make necessary investments—within the next few years will be well-positioned to take advantage of this growth.

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