The launch of the FrieslandCampina Development Centre in Singapore last week demonstrates the increasing investment food and beverage companies are making in research and development in Asia in order to meet the changing needs of Asian consumers.

Located at Singapore’s Science Park, the Development Centre will focus on developing dairy-based beverages and infant and toddler nutrition that suit the tastes of consumers across Asia, and address their specific nutritional requirements.

Royal FrieslandCampina’s Chief Operating Officer, Consumer Products International, Mr Freek Rijna said establishing a strong product development presence in the region is critical in enabling industry to respond to the fast-changing needs of Asia’s rapidly growing populations.

“Figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reveal that by 2030, Asia will represent 66 per cent of the global middle-class population and 59 per cent of middle-class consumption.

As a result, Asian citizens are not only consuming more food, they’re demanding a greater variety of products and have higher expectations for their safety and quality.”

Mr Rijna adds that a large group of children in Asia are also in need of better nutrition. The South East Asian Nutritional Survey (SEANUTS) conducted by FrieslandCampina among 17,000 children across Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam confirmed this insight.

“Getting the right nutrition from the start is important in ensuring a child’s healthy growth and development. This means it is important not only to create nutritious and tastier products, but also to ensure that good nutrition is affordable for different groups of consumers in Asia.

In line with these trends, the food industry in Asia will not only need to deliver more food to people across the region, it will also need to invest in increased innovation capabilities to better cater to their fast-changing needs now, and in the future,” he said.

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