New report highlights British meat export opportunities in Southeast Asia

New report highlights British meat export opportunities in Southeast Asia

New data produced by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) into the buying behaviours of consumers across Southeast Asia seeks to “better understand” how British red meat exports can be utilised in this markets 

An AHDB study with consumer research agency Two Ears One Mouth looked at red meat markets across various Southeast Asian countries including: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The research showed that consumer buying behaviours in Southeast Asia are influenced by three overarching factors: quality, food safety and price.

Potential opportunities

Nearly two in five Southeast Asian consumers claim that they ‘give a lot of thought to where their red meat comes from’, likely linked to food safety concerns and freshness perceptions. Origin starts to gain importance in countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan.

According to AHDB, this signifies the need to raise the profile of British red meat at the point of purchase to drive more conscious buying habits involving British products, alongside promoting food safety credentials.

Although British red meat remains niche in Southeast Asia, it performs well in comparison to Southeast Asian domestic product, according to the research.

Around 28% of British food consumed in Southeast Asia is claimed to be purchased for a special occasion and AHDB states that this is an opportunity to leverage this ‘treat’ occasion to reinforce the quality attributes and justify the price premium of British red meat.

Current barriers

AHDB said that there is “a fantastic opportunity for British exports, however there are some barriers when it comes to consumer perception of British red meat.”

A key “stumbling point” for British red meat in many Southeast Asian markets is price and value for money in comparison to domestic product.

The survey also found that British exporters need to provide clear and consistent messaging on the high food safety standards in the UK, promoting high level production standards to satisfy this market.

With food safety in mind, the key drivers are no additives (hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives), freshness and sanitary/hygienic production standards. AHDB claims that this messaging will provide the UK with a good grounding to promote the high-quality red meat produced.

At this point in time, environmental sustainability is not a key purchase driver of red meat in Southeast Asia, with it only being considered by 14% of consumers. Evidence from the region, however, suggests the emerging nature of the link between red meat purchases and the environment.

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