Thu, Jan 27, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Health-oriented, own-brand items boost F&B sector

BEST SELLERS The latest ACNielsen survey of the worldwide food and beverage industry found marked changes in consumer preferences

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Health-oriented products and convenience products have become the latest best sellers in the food and beverage industry.

Market research firm ACNielsen's latest annual report shows that health-oriented, convenient-to-eat and own-brand products show astonishing annual growth in sales.

The survey, released yesterday, analyzed 89 food and beverage categories in 59 markets worldwide between August 2003 and July last year in an effort to understand how consumption behavior has changed.

In Taiwan, solid yogurt has proven to be a favorite among health-conscious consumers, with revenues growing by a stunning 63 percent, followed by ready-to-drink Chinese tea with 54 percent growth and sugar-free, ready-to-drink tea with 33 percent growth.

Essence drinks also grew by 25 percent.

Lillian Lin (林立莉), public relations manager of President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), which operates 7-Eleven convenience stores nationwide, said the yogurt market was heated up last year after one manufacturer recruited well-known model Lin Chih-ling (林志玲) to endorse its product, leading more women to consider eating yogurt as a meal alternative.

To tap this growing trend, 7-Eleven has set up independent kiosks in its outlets to showcase a wide variety of healthcare products, ranging from vitamins and drinks to moisturizers.

The ACNielsen report shows that as a result of changing work patterns and lifestyles, consumer needs for packaged foods, such as soup, are escalating.

The market saw a 62 percent increase in sales of canned soup, a 14.3 percent rise in sales of ready-to-drink soup and a 10.9 percent jump in sales of powdered soup mixes.

Another major trend noted in the survey is the rise in sales of own-brand products, whose sales growth last year grew by 62 percent in this country from the year before.

As part of their efforts to boost their gross margins in the face of cut-throat competition, retailers are working with renowned manufacturers to produce own-brand products, including tissues, refrigerated juice, bread and jams.

Sales of own-brand instant noodles quadrupled last year from the year before, while packaged rice grew by 66 percent and sales of bottled water increased by 71 percent.

"The growing market share of own-brand products is an important step in the development of the retail sector worldwide," said Oliver Rust, executive director at ACNielsen Taiwan's retail measurement services.

Citing figures compiled by the ACNielsen survey, Rust said sports drinks are growing by 19 percent in the UK, and in Chile, snacks have increased by 11 percent, boosted by own-brand products.

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