Singapore is known to be a food paradise, influenced by western culture, more global trade, and travelling. Plenty of food choices are easily accessible from premium fine dining to affordable coffee shops and consumers also prefer to eat at on-the-go to save time and not lose concentration because of their hectic work life. Singaporean consumers taste preferences are continuously changing from old and traditionally prepared foods to ready meals more due to the constantly improving standards of living and rising income levels. The work life of Singaporean is hectic and it is not going to slow down in the coming year so this clearly represents that fast food, ready-to-eat meals, takeaways, and even liquid meal replacements are going to be a strong market in coming years. These ready meals save the time of Singaporeans from their busy schedules.
With the growing stiff competition amongst foodservice industry players and led them to fascinate consumers with their new meals launch in the market. The ready meal market of Singapore was valued at USD 111.6 million (S$ 153.76 million) in 2017. When it comes to trying out new and exotic food varieties, majorly seafood dishes are the preference of Singaporeans; they are well travelled, adventurous and owned an increased level of exposure to multiple cultures. Also, they are knowledgeable, savvy and very much concerned about their meal. Revenue of the ready meal segment amounts to US$ 48 million (S$ 66 million) in 2018 and the market is expected to grow annually by 2.8% (CAGR 2018-2021). The average per capita consumption of ready-to-eat meal stands at 1.2kg in 2018.
Strengthening Demand for Ready Meals in Singapore:
In all Asian countries and especially in Singapore, the demand for natural and organic products is increasing exponentially. With the growing awareness about health and wellness in the world, Singaporean consumers are becoming cautious about the meal what they are eating. Weight management and wellbeing have become a key priority that is influencing the purchasing decisions of Singaporeans; these are some factors that are hindering the growth of the ready meal market in Singapore. Despite these facts, the demand for the ready meal is increasing because of the hectic work life and lesser time availability for the preparation of food at home.
Singaporean consumers are busy in pleasing their insatiable appetite for new flavours and food experiences and thus increasing the ready to eat meal market swiftly and finding space in the personal lives of consumers. The essence of travelling through taste buds is spreading into the country market with the penetration of innovations and global experiences in Singapore. Also, this is gaining popularity amid busy working families who prefer convenience associated with the food designed to save their time in the kitchen and reduce costs due to spoilage at a competitive price. In 2017, the ready meal market’s retail current value growth was almost 3% and retail volume growth of 1%. The demand for the retail current value growth had seen a slight hike than the review period current value of CAGR of ready-to-eat meal market.
This soup brand can easily fool people that these soups have been simmered for hours but there is no requirement to toil it over the gas. It is a Singaporean healthy soup brand. Freshen Food use soup broth base made from chicken bone, dried scallop and dried octopus and offer three traditional flavours in sealed single-serve packages: Lotus Root & Peanut (With Red Date and Wolfberry) Carrot & Potato Chicken Soup (With Onion) only needed to be heated on medium for three minutes. It is priced at $5.95 per packet.
It is providing deliciously innovative, convenient, healthy, tasty and safe meal solutions anytime and anywhere for Singaporean consumers with no additional requirement of refrigeration and no added preservatives. It has been awarded as the Healthier Choice Symbol Product by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board. FoodBox serving includes Black Pepper Chicken + Rice or Curry Chicken + Rice or Soy Ginger Chicken + Rice Package that provides 32g of whole-grains and meet up to 64% of daily requirements of whole-grain of consumers. Also, the product is free from trans fat and low in sodium and their food technology and manufacturing plant is ISO 22000 and HACCP certified that gives the product to be stored at room temperature and still retain its freshness. It is priced at $6.90 on online purchase and $7.90 at original retail price.
Challenges for the Ready Meal Market in Singapore:
The food processing sector is highly competitive in Singapore. In Singapore, there are more than 23,000 food retail outlets, 750 small local processed food industry players and more than 100 food importers. A remarkable shift has been noticed from eating traditional foods to modern convenience meals due to the hectic work lifestyle of the country. It is expected that the growth of the ready to eat food will be slower in the coming years, as the consumers are becoming health conscious and trying to eat healthy food only. This kind of food is being considered less healthy and less fresh as compared to a freshly prepared meal. So, the demand is for healthy and fresh ready meal product because Singaporean has a rich taste and big appetite for the different type of cultural food.
Chinese stewed pork and pork leg with mushroom products is a popular symbolic item that is used during a traditional betrothal ceremony, where a groom-to-be will give to the family of the bride-to-be. The long-established product of Singapore from Narcissus brand range of canned food in shelf-stable ready meals is the leading player and covers the market. Whereas, Xiamen Jiahua Import & Export Trading Co Ltd was the leading player of 2017 with a value share of 19% in ready meals. The competition is stiff in the market for new entrants because the poorly differentiated product or are not well supported one by marketing face challenges. Singaporean market is weak for new products, marketing and distribution is extremely high and required a high cost to maintain its shares and positions. Retail growth is not as fast as expected in the country.
Opportunities for the Ready Meal Market in Singapore:
Ready meals allowed Singaporean consumers to find different ways to reinvent the way they see ready meals and save time out of their busy schedules. These instant soups and noodles are expected to be the second highest performing segment in the ready meals market. The growing hectic lifestyles and the increasing prevalence of instant food and ready-to-eat meal made Singaporean consumer lazy to cook food at home. Due to this, only fewer Singaporeans are cooking food at home, owing to benefits derived from convenience products. The ready meals market of Singapore is segmented on the basis of product type, storage and distribution channel. On the basis of product type, the market is segmented into soups and noodles, meat and fish, cereals and pulses, ready meals and others.
Leading brands like Nestle Maggie, PepsiCo Inc., Kellogg Company, General Mills Inc., Prima Taste, Pondok Abang, McCain Foods, Food Box, Health Food Matters, Select Group, etc. are continuously trying to create some innovation in their product portfolio as per the changing consumption patterns of the consumers. It is the most preferred product of the Singaporean market as consumers opt for convenient and nutrient-driven meal options. Due to the busy lifestyle demand for ready meals is increasing and consumer’s behaviour is changing towards patterns of the consumers. The ready meal market has a tremendous opportunity if the quality and freshness of the product keep maintained by the companies.
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