Asian opportunity: From 'global cuisine made easy' to the drive for authenticity
By Elaine WATSON
- Last updated on
Reports on the changing demographics in America often focus on the growing Hispanic population, which will account for a fifth of the US population by 2025 (click here).
However, the Asian American population - which currently represents 4.8% of the US population - is projected to double by 2060, and dollar sales of Asian foods were up 10.2% across all US retail channels between 2010 and 2012, according to Jim Stange, who oversees the ethnic food category at distributor KeHe.
“About 80% of the volume in the category is driven by what I’d call mainstream Asian brands that have been created for the US market, but the real growth is coming from truly authentic brands. However, you do see some brands that are both authentic and mainstream, like Kikkoman, which are available in Asia and the US.
“We’re seeing some of the most growth in Filipino and Vietnamese foods. Huy Fong Foods’ [Vietnamese] Sriracha hot sauce is just going crazy, while microwaveable meals from Snapdragon and Kusina are a great example of what we call global cuisine made easy. There are also a lot of unusual Filipino products such as Magnolia’s purple yam ice cream that have real potential.”
“A lot of retailers have been stocking Asian foods for a long time, but are now starting to update and refresh their planograms and to offer more convenience. Instead of having primarily ingredients, they are thinking about microwaveable meals and pouches and options where you can make a meal with just two or three ingredients. There are also lots of opportunities in snacks.”