While Singapore is known as a food paradise, its burgeoning food manufacturing industry is more of a hidden gem. In 2017, this industry contributed S$4.3 billion or 1.1% to our GDP, and employed more than 48,000 workers.
More than half of Singapore’s food manufacturing industry’s output is exported. Our food fame has spread, as food manufacturers introduce our cuisine to the world. Singapore’s brand name and consumers’ confidence in the quality and safety of Singapore products are keys to help you unlock your business potential overseas.
Expect a revamp of the industry, as the nation’s Food Manufacturing Industry Transformation Map aims to help your business upgrade and innovate to keep pace with changing consumer tastes and advancing technology. The plan’s goal is for the industry to have an average productivity growth of 4.5% and to create 2,000 new jobs by 2020, while developing Singapore into a leading food and nutrition hub in Asia by 2025.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities for your company to grow in this exciting industry – by innovating and using technology to satisfy consumers’ taste buds and nutritional needs.
The global demand for food is increasing in tandem with population growth. The world’s urban population is expected to grow rapidly to 68% by 2050, up from 55% in 2018. This means that 2.5 billion people will be added to cities around the world by 20501.
There is great potential for your company to expand in this growing market. Urban residents consume a larger share of the total value of food than rural consumers due to both higher incomes and a preference for more diverse food. Rising income levels across countries has led to the emergence of a swelling middle class, which tends to desire quality and healthy food, as well as have a preference for foreign brands.
1: 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, United Nations, 2018
Today’s consumers want healthy foods and are willing to pay more for them. The global sales of healthy food products are expected to have reached US$1 trillion (S$1.35 trillion) in 20172. Consumers are also willing to pay more for healthier foods, according to 88% of those polled in a Nielsen survey3.
Ride on this preference for healthy food to expand your business overseas. Healthier food products that meet high safety standards will help you meet the expectations of discerning and educated consumers who consciously seek out healthy food options.
2: “Health and Wellness the Trillion Dollar Industry in 2017”, Euromonitor International, 2017
3: “We Are What We Eat: Healthy Eating Trends Around the World”, Nielsen, 2015
People worldwide are living longer. Globally, one in five people will be aged 60 and above by 2050. This is an estimated increase from 900 million in 2015 to 2.1 billion in 2050.
Asia will be most impacted by an ageing population. A quarter of Japanese are over 65, and the proportion will rise to 40% by 2060. China, South Korea and Singapore all have ageing populations, with one in four Singaporeans expected to be aged 65 and above by 2030.
Your business can explore this changing demographics to develop food products with the nutritional requirements and food texture suited to the dietary needs of seniors.
As the elderly may have limited mobility, this drives demand for convenient meals with adequate nutrition and appropriate texture. Your food manufacturing business can innovate to create economical, protein-rich food products or ingredients that can be added during meal preparation to improve nutrition levels.
More innovative approaches are needed to sustainably increase food production and improve food security as Singapore sets to achieve target of producing 30% of its nutritional needs locally by 2030.
Singapore is particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in global food supply and prices, as over 90% of our food is imported. To mitigate climate changes and weather patterns that disrupt crop yields, you can explore agriculture and food technologies that increase food volume with fewer resources and leave smaller environmental footprints.
You can also build food security and grow your business by seeking opportunities in agriculture technology, sustainable food manufacturing, increasing manufacturing productivity, and by converting food manufacturing by-products into new and usable products.
The food industry is evolving to meet changing consumer preferences and growing awareness in health and sustainability. A major concern is the need to feed an increasing global population with shrinking food sources. Closer to home, ensuring Singapore’s food security means producing more of what we eat, locally.
There is tremendous potential in agri-food tech. Agriculture technology and food technology, or agri-food tech for short, is a growth area that will see players using modern technologies to increase food supply through sustainable methods and improve food quality from farm to fork. It will also see food manufacturers coming up with innovative ways to develop food, that is, by incorporating new ingredients, or catering to niche sectors such as in elderly nutrition.
According to consultancy firm Frost and Sullivan, the global smart agri-tech market generated US$4.5 billion (S$6.1 billion) in 2015 and is estimated to reach US$9 billion (S$12.2 billion) in 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 14.8%4. Singapore companies can ride on the global momentum to pitch your ideas for agriculture and food technologies.
4: “Analysis of the Smart Agriculture Technology Market”, Frost and Sullivan, 4 November 2016
Exciting opportunities lie ahead for food companies in Singapore. If you are ready to explore these opportunities in the local and overseas food industry, Enterprise Singapore has a suite of tools and programmes to support Singapore food manufacturing companies.
Find out how you can boost capability, go global, access a network of partners, and develop talent to grow your food manufacturing business.
Interested to find out more? Learn how innovation is shaking things up for Singapore’s food industry.