Go beyond Singapore’s shores to tap the large urban consumer markets overseas.
From generating revenue growth and diversification of risks, to boosting your capabilities and global competitiveness, internationalisation can help reach your company’s next growth milestones.Taking the first or next step overseas in the new global environment may seem daunting, but we’re here to work with you.
With the right research, partnerships and networks, you will be able to overcome barriers for market expansion. There is also a suite of government schemes put in place to support your company’s internationalisation journey.
We have created a one-stop internationalisation handbook for food manufacturers that provides an overview of the key steps and considerations required for overseas market entry, as well as important market insights, tips and case studies for you to gain a competitive edge overseas.
Discover where the opportunities lie and download the full handbook.
Keen to find out your company’s internationalisation capability gaps and areas of improvement? Access the Internationalisation Toolkit by completing a questionnaire.
Tasty Singapore is a brand backed by strong government support through Enterprise Singapore and industry players to promote and showcase Singapore food to the world.
Under this initiative, local food companies come together to market your brands and products collectively under the Tasty Singapore brand. Each product capitalises on the Tasty Singapore brand to enhance its global standing and strengthens the branding in the process.
Here are our Tasty Singapore Ambassadors.
Participate in Tradeshows
Joining tradeshows is an effective way to reach out to overseas buyers, promote your products and services to regional business partners, and survey market trends and competition. As international travel remains limited in today’s context, virtual trade shows where exhibitors and buyers can interact through video conferencing or live chats are a good alternative to showcase your products to the global market.
Enterprise Singapore partners trade associations and chambers of commerce (TACs) such as Singapore Food Manufacturers' Association (SFMA) and Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF), to support tradeshows like Anuga, Food & Hotel Asia (FHA), Gulfood and Salon International de l’alimentation.
China is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. As its affluence grows, China’s consumption is estimated to grow by 6.3% in 2019-20201. The pace of increase will intensify with the World Bank estimating that 70% of China’s households will live in towns and cities by 2030.
As the world’s largest consumer market for food and beverage products, China is one of the top markets for Singapore food manufacturing companies. If you want to appeal to the young and social media-savvy Chinese consumers, consider creating food products and packaging that offer novel, multi-sensory experience which allow them to show their lifestyle and individuality on social media platforms.
The quality of food, its healthiness and food safety have also become the top concerns for consumers, who are willing to pay for premium food, healthy food and food from more reputable sources. In 2018, China is set to be the biggest importer of food products in the world, with US$79 billion (S$107 billion) worth of food imports a year2. With Singapore’s reputation for quality and stringent food hygiene standards, your food business will be well-received in China.
Online shopping is very popular among the Chinese. In particular, fresh food e-commerce paired with quick delivery service is booming in China, with data from consulting firm iResearch showing trading volume increasing from 4 billion yuan (S$0.8 billion) in 2012 to 140 billion yuan (S$28.4 billion) in 2017. As more Chinese consumers develop a taste for Singapore cuisine, e-commerce is a quick way to test if your food products will do well in the Chinese market.
To understand the steps needed to successfully bring your brand to China, download our guide here.
1 “More Efficient Allocation of Investment Is Key to China’s Sustainable Growth, Says World Bank”, Press Release on World Bank’s China Economic Update, May 2018.
2 National Bureau of Statistics, China
Rising consumption fuelled by modern lifestyle has led to increased spending on food in Indonesia. This trend will continue as Indonesians get more affluent. Over half of the population will be middle-class by 2020, according to a World Bank estimate. This holds huge market potential for Singapore food manufacturing companies.
Buying and selling grocery is a big business in Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the largest markets for modern grocery retail in ASEAN and figures are estimated to hit US$100 billion (S$135 billion) by 2019.
You can target Indonesia’s modern grocery retail segment (for example, supermarkets), which has grown more rapidly than traditional markets in recent years. With modern retailers featuring a wider range of imported food products for consumers, there is great potential for your company to enter the market profitably.
Looking ahead, Indonesia is exploring how technology can play a bigger role in its manufacturing sector. It launched the “Making Indonesia 4.0” industry roadmap in April 2018 for five sectors including food & beverage3.
Under this roadmap, both the public and private sectors, as well as research and educational organisations, will work together to drive initiatives such as building national digital infrastructure, developing an innovation ecosystem, and incentivising technological investment. You can explore how your business can ride on and contribute towards Indonesia’s push to make food manufacturing more high-tech.
Get a bite of the huge consumer market by expanding into Indonesia.
3 “Widodo Launches Roadmap for Industry 4.0: ‘Making Indonesia 4.0’”, Indonesia Investments, 6 April 2018
Japan is the world’s third largest economy, boasting high levels of modernisation and excellent infrastructure. The country remains one of the top export destinations for companies.
Health is key for quality of life and Japanese consumers value this increasingly. As the sports nutrition market in Japan report a 14.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2022, this shows that there’s a spotlight on nutrition by Japanese consumers to eat and exercise their way to health. Consumers’ search for healthier alternatives also extends to regular dairy, promoting the popularity of organic dairy – a market that is forecasted to grow by 14.51% by 2022.
If you’re looking to expand your food business to the Japanese market, there are opportunities for you to identify the market whitespace in the health and wellness sector to satisfy the locals’ appetite for all things nutritious and sustainable.
Centrally located at the crossroads of the Middle East, India subcontinent, Africa, Central Asia and Southern Europe, Dubai is the region’s trading hub, supplying to the food service industry and retail channels in the region. Take advantage of Dubai’s strategic position to launch your food brand to the region.
An expanding Asian community and rising interest in Asian food in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are driving up consumption of Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. Increasingly busy lifestyles paired with rising disposable incomes have also fed a growing appetite for packaged and processed food across the Middle East.
The UAE’s food imports are expected to rise from US$100 billion (S$135 billion) in 2014 to US$400 billion (S$540 billion) in the next ten years. By 2020, it is estimated that the UAE will spend US$16.7 billion (S$22.5 billion) on food products.
Read more about UAE's exciting opportunities for Singapore food companies.
Opportunities available in the UAE are not limited to food exports. Announcing a AED30 billion (S$11 billion) economic stimulus package in June 20184, the UAE is proactively wooing foreign investment in local production. – including food and beverages manufacturing – to strengthen the position of its manufacturing sector.
Local food service operators are also seeking opportunities to invest in food manufacturing facilities that complement their existing businesses. You may tap these growing opportunities for co-investment. If you are ready to take your business to investor-friendly UAE, find out how the GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement can benefit Singapore companies like yours.
4 “Why the 'Made in UAE' Label is Boosting Innovation and Investment into Local Manufacturing”, Arabian Business, 16 September 2018
The United States (US) is the largest consumer market in the world5. In 2016, around 15.2 cents out of every US dollar spent by consumers went to food manufacturers.
Within the US, the Midwest and West have the highest concentration of food processing and manufacturing businesses. Particular cities of note are California, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Minnesota. High levels of employment, patent growth, and business creation feature in the food manufacturing industries.
California is a hub for innovation in food manufacturing, where 14% of the total number of food-related patents in the country was created.
In particular, the US is welcoming of innovation in alternative protein, and plant-based foods. Examples include meat-substitutes, in which major US food companies have become sizeable investors.
Singapore food manufacturers that seek to innovate in these areas can find many interested investors in the US, as well as an open-minded consumer base.
Besides consumer appreciation for meat-substitutes, the US organic market saw 6.7% growth in 2017. Mainstream brands have also started to expand their product lines by including organic offerings to meet demand.
“Free from” foods are another growing trend. Demand for food products free from gluten, dairy, lactose, meat, or allergens comes from consumers who perceive these as being healthier or more natural; they are no longer solely catered to consumers with allergies.
A third trend is the use of “botanicals” in food products. This refers to the use of botanical ingredients (such as goji berries, moringa and/or turmeric) in snacks and drinks.
From 2014 to 2016, total unit sales for specialty foods – including those associated with health and wellness – grew by 13.1%. In comparison, all food retail sales grew by 2.3%. You will find growing demand in the US if your company is into wellness-based food products.
Learn how to bring and sell your food products to the US market with our US Consumer Food Guide.
5 “World’s Largest Market”, SelectUSA
Being the third largest consumer market in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is an attractive destination for companies who wish to capture regional market share in a fast-emerging economy.
To establish a foothold in Vietnam’s food manufacturing space, it’s important to tailor your strategies to best fit the accustomed tastes and cultures of consumers between north and south Vietnam. With this, you have to understand the preferences of consumers from different regions in Vietnam and develop food products that will appeal to them – there’s no one-size-fits-all. There also exists a need to appoint different distributors in different regions and employ area-specific strategies to succeed in this market.
Particularly in Vietnam, consumers have an eye for new food products. You’ll have to constantly innovate and develop fresh offerings to establish a compelling presence in the Vietnamese market.
A report found that 88% of consumers bought new products during their most recent grocery-shopping trip – they are always seeking out the latest products in the market. You can gain and maintain a strong competitive advantage if you’re able to consistently innovate new flavours that can appeal to this consumer group.
Get a piece of the pie by exploring opportunities in Vietnam today.