Taste, price and nutrition key to driving Asia’s plant-based growth – Expert Growth Asia Series panel

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Even thought the plant-based sector in Asia has been seeing rapid growth over the past few years and is expected by many to emerge as ‘the future of food’, there is still a long way for the industry to go before becoming mainstream – and this journey, though mainly initiated with environmental and ethical concerns in mind, will need to focus on product development to achieve significant growth.

This was agreed upon by the expert panel which convened at the recent Plant-Based Innovation edition of our Growth Asia 2020 series, which comprised of Alex Ward (Givaudan Head of Regional Innovation APAC), Michelle Lee (DuPont Asia Pacific Regional Marketing Leader), Eugene Wang (Founder of Sophie’s Kitchen), Tao Zhang (Co-founder of Dao Foods International) and Varun Deshpande (Managing Director of Good Food Institute India).

Keynote speakers for the session also included PepsiCo R&D Global External Innovation Lead Dr Tan Siow Ying and Eat JUST CEO and Co-Founder Josh Tetrick. The session was hosted by FoodNavigator-Asia and NutraIngredients-Asia Editor-in-Chief Gary Scattergood.

In her opening session, Dr Tan told the floor that the plant-based trend is likely to continue on in the long-term given how consumers today are increasingly concerned about their health and nutrition, and given the ‘adventurousness’ of Asian consumers when it comes to food.

“What’s important to note here though is that taste remains paramount – consumers will buy items they perceive to be healthier when there is a choice, but are not inclined to go far out of the way to do so, and are even less likely to do so if the product does not taste good,”​ she said.

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