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Plant-Based Diet and Vegan Food Are Steaming Hot in Malaysia Listen with ReadSpeaker

Plant-Based Diet and Vegan Food Are Steaming Hot in Malaysia

The growing demand for plant-based and vegan products across the world is on an upward trajectory. With rising research on how plant-based foods are both beneficial to health and the environment, more people are opting for plant-based and vegan food.

Furthermore, a global shift to a plant-based diet could reduce mortality and greenhouse gases caused by food production by 10 percent and 70 percent respectively by 2050. This diet trend is reshaping the way we make our decisions on our purchases, which includes the meals we order or cook, to the type of milk in our coffee.

This has led to increased export for global brands and the rise of startups in the local market to meet the needs of consumers. Different styles and varieties of products are launched to attract new consumers and to provide unique experiences to them.

Malaysians Craving for Healthier Food

Similarly in Malaysia, people have become more health and environmentally conscious, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has triggered greater innovation in terms of menus, supplies, and products in the market.

Nestle recently opened its first plant-based meals manufacturing facility in ASEAN. Located in Malaysia, the leading household brand hopes to capture the growth opportunity for plant-based products in the region. IKEA Malaysia, too, followed up by rolling out plant-based menus at all its restaurants.

The main reasons why plant-based and vegan market demand is growing include:

  • The desire for transparency as people are asking: "Where does my food come from?"
  • Increased awareness of health benefits due to the availability of information on the internet and influencers
  • Stronger focus on taste and quality of plant-based products alongside a wider range of options available in stores and restaurants. This change is moving perceptions away from the “hippie” stereotype and bringing these diets further into the mainstream
  • Consumers are seeking more creativity, flexibility, and variety in their diets by mixing up traditional meal combinations and experimenting with new flavors

Meat Meets Vegan

Meanwhile, the opportunities in the plant-based market for distributors, manufacturers, and retailers have also grown substantially in recent times. There are more vegan-based products available in the market, while we are also seeing more innovation and production of plant-based food and beverages by FMCG companies in Malaysia.

To tap into this trend, more corporate partnerships are being launched as a growing number of traditional meat-based companies are teaming up with vegetarian food service companies to come up with new product offerings.

As your business zooms in on this growing trend in Malaysia, do study the market entry processes required as food exporters must be familiar with the specific regulatory requirements and appropriate sales channels in the market for their product. From regulations related to labeling and halal certification to documentation and packaging, there are numerous considerations that need to be addressed before entering the market.

Reach out to us at DKSH to learn how your business can benefit from the growing trend of plant-based and vegan products taking place in Malaysia and across Asia.