Go beyond Singapore’s shores to tap the large urban consumer markets in Asia. Your potential customer base can be much bigger than the 5.7 million people in Singapore. There is also strong potential for growth in non-Asian markets with rising demand for Asian food and heritage food products.
Discover where the opportunities lie and explore initiatives lined up by Enterprise Singapore to help your business take flight abroad.
It is now easier, faster and more convenient for you to export your food products overseas. Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) have teamed up to bring you a business-to-business mobile application called B2B SMART App.
The app gives you direct access to overseas buyers by allowing them to consolidate online orders easily and check on product authenticity with a few simple steps.
Gain greater global exposure and more effective market entry, when you join the Tasty Singapore initiative as a brand ambassador. 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.
As a Tasty Singapore brand ambassador, you will have insights to new projects and opportunities in new markets, and access to our 36 overseas centres. You can also reach out to overseas consumers more effectively by using the Tasty Singapore mark on your packaging and marketing collaterals, and through our marketing platforms.
Join us as one of our Tasty Singapore Ambassadors. Sign up today.
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.
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.
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.
Join the ongoing Tasty Singapore Food Aisle campaign in Indonesia’s premium supermarket chains. Team up with 12 other food manufacturers to sell your food products under a common Singapore branding and tap economies of scale for market entry.
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
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