People in Asia Pacific alone spent more than US$1 trillion (S$1.4 trillion) eating out in 2016 – representing about 32% of global consumer spending on eating out. Be part of this booming global food services industry, which is expected to grow by 7.5% each year until 20261.
Take your culinary or dining concept overseas to meet the demand for Asian food in countries around the world. You can find new and innovative ways to adapt your F&B products to suit local flavour in different markets.
Bank on Singapore’s fame as a food paradise and strong reputation in food safety and quality. You have a competitive advantage in your overseas ventures because of your strong Singapore brand.
1: The Global Food & Beverage Report, Cushman & Wakefield, 2017
Understand the palate of your target customers in the overseas market to position your branding. Tastes and preferences can vary across regions in the same country. Be prepared to adjust your product to suit local tastes and find the market’s acceptable price points.
Find opportunities such as trade shows to test your products in the overseas market and define your unique selling points. Test your products and services again, after making initial adjustments.
An F&B business requires setting up a physical presence. Do you want to set up your own company-owned outlets, or work through joint ventures with local partners? How about a franchise model for quick and easier access to the market? Weigh each option’s pros and cons.
Fancy opening your next restaurant in China? You can.
With more than 1.3 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country and has one of its fastest growing economies. The World Bank estimates that 70% of China’s households will live in towns and cities by 2030.
As the urban populations get better jobs and higher incomes, they spend more on goods and services, including food. The World Bank estimates that demand for goods and services in urban areas will grow by 9% each year until 2020.
Existing Singapore food businesses in China are well-received by Chinese consumers. Singapore food businesses that have done well in China include Awfully Chocolate, Jumbo Seafood, and Paradise Group. With economic progress and better education, consumers are now more cautious about food safety and are willing to pay for better food and try new food concepts2.
Set up an online presence along with your physical location, as China’s consumers are internet savvy and relying more on apps for food review, table reservations, payment, and food delivery. China’s halal F&B sector is another area you can consider, to cater to its 26 million Muslim population in the country’s northwest3.
Find out how you can enter China.
2: “Boom time for Singapore food firms in China market”, Straits Times, 11 September 2017.
3: “Singapore companies well-placed to tap China's halal market”, The Business Times, 29 June 2017.
Indonesia has a population of more than 261 million. More than half of all Indonesians will be middle class and affluent by 20204, driving up consumption including food expenditure. Between 2015 and 2017, F&B sales in Indonesia increased by 16% to reach an estimated US$104 billion (S$140 billion)5. Your company can take advantage of this rising demand.
The F&B scene in Indonesia sees similar trends to urban cities elsewhere. More people are eating out and are keen to try new types of food. Convenient meals and anytime-anywhere food delivery services are catching on due to busy lifestyles. Consumers are also more conscious of food safety and sustainability issues6. You can tweak your food services to accommodate these food trends in the Indonesian market.
Consider entering the Indonesian market via the full- and quick-service segments. These are expected to be the fastest-growing in Indonesia’s food service industry, at about 3% and 6% respectively.
Singapore’s food and its unique food concepts are likely to appeal to Indonesians given their familiarity with Singaporean cuisine.
Find out how you can enter the Indonesian F&B market.
4: “Indonesia’s middle class to reach 140m by 2020”, ASEAN Up, 11 February 2016.
5: EU Indonesia Business Sector Report on Food and Beverage sector, 2017.
6: “Rise Of The Ready Meal In Indonesia”, Asia Pacific Food Industry, 11 April 2018.
The United States (US) alone accounts for 17.8% of the global food services industry – the size of its food industry stood at US$648.8 billion (S$875.9 billion) in 2016, and is expected to grow a further 17.7% to reach US$761.6 billion (S$1.03 trillion) by 2021.
The US is a prime destination for food services. The country’s consumers have strong purchasing power, with American households spending an average of US$3,365 (S$4,543) per year on dining in 20177.
In particular, quick service and fast food restaurants are popular in the US, accounting for over 40% of the entire food industry.
US gateway cities, such as New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, are cosmopolitan and open to different cuisines. American consumers have diverse tastes, and are accustomed to having many choices. Singapore’s F&B businesses will find many opportunities in these cities, as well as a customer base with sufficient spending power.
Although opportunities are abound, the US market is highly competitive and saturated. Be prepared to invest both capital and resources in market research, branding and marketing activities to break into the market.
One key decision to make is your business model in the US. Depending on your business objectives, you may choose to incorporate your business in the US, or work through third parties. Your business structure, as well as the state you choose to operate in, will result in different regulatory and taxation obligations.
Sourcing for ingredients for your food business is easy in the US due to its well-developed ethnic grocery sector and global trade links. Singapore businesses rarely have to obtain your own licenses for imports to support your food services. However, do take note of the US immigration and labour laws when planning your staffing.
Learn how you can open and operate a food services establishment in the US with our US Consumer Food Guide.
7 Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics.