Philippines F&B Trends: Consumers Turn To Fermented Beverages As Gut Health Becomes Top Priority

Philippines F&B Trends: Consumers Turn To Fermented Beverages As Gut Health Becomes Top Priority featured image

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Filipinos are increasingly turning to fermented beverages to help them achieve optimal gut health. Products such as kombucha and kefir have become the country’s favourites in helping them achieve their health goals, proprietary research from Ai Palette shows.

Kefir is a fermented milk-based drink that, according to Webmd, has over 30 probiotics. On the other hand, Kombucha is a kind of fermented tea that is also known for its probiotic properties.

Our analysis reveals that ‘Kefir’ as an ingredient of interest in the Philippines has grown over 11% from a year ago and is an emerging food and beverage trend in the region. Similar growth is seen with Kombucha, which grew 17% growth from a year ago in the Philippines, making it one of the biggest emerging trends in the region.

The Key Growth Drivers

A primary reason for this growth, according to Neha Goyal, Innovation and Insights Consultant at Ai Palette, was that when consumers were uncertain about the symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected their bodies, they relied on age-old recipes that were seen as the cure for the cold, the flu or even digestion. Traditional fermented beverages such as kombucha or kefir saw a resurgence.

“Consumers relied heavily on them, and these products were launched in newer formats in the retail space,” she said during a presentation at the 2022 Philippines Food & Beverage Trends webinar hosted by Ai Palette.

As the chart above suggests, Ai Palette’s proprietary tool ‘Foresight Engine’ shows that gut health is a trending theme in the Philippines. Here we see that ‘Gut Health’ as a trend now has an engagement score of over 80 and is expected to continue on this trend well into 2023.

The Traditional Way To Gut Health

Many generations have relied on traditional ingredients and remedies to build up and maintain gut health. Ai Palette’s trendspotting platform shows that gut health is popular among Filipino consumers. This theme has seen a four-year CAGR of over 16%, and the trend is still growing. Tried, tested and true recipes and concoctions caught renewed interest in 2021, which resulted in products like Kombucha, Kefir and Malunggay Chips making their way onto retail shelves at an accelerated pace – a trend that’s likely to continue in 2022.

Consumer health consciousness accelerated during the pandemic. Starbucks in the Philippines introduced Remedy Kombucha, riding on the popularity of this beverage in the region, underscoring the growing popularity of such traditional fermented beverages.

Starbucks recently launched Remedy Kombucha in the Pholippines

Filipinos also like kefir as it contains all the nutrition of milk without lactose. With different strains of friendly bacteria, kefir is strongly linked with improving the gut’s microflora while strengthening immune health.

The demand for such traditional ingredients and fermented beverages in the Philippines is only expected to grow as this year progresses. Statista shows that worldwide fermented beverage sales could grow to $1.06 trillion by 2023.

These trends and more across the APAC region can be seen in Ai Palette’s latest 2022 APAC Food and Beverage Trends report.

Ai Palette is at the forefront of spotting such trends. Our proprietary AI-based system allows CPG brands to track trends in the food and beverage space. Our insights empower companies to launch products in months, compared to traditional market research, which takes years.

Contact us today to schedule a demo.