Friday , February 23 2024

Demand for healthy foods on the rise post-COVID


A booth showcasing ‘future foods’ at the region’s largest food and beverage trade fair in Bangkok last month. After the outbreak of COVID-19 consumers are increasingly health conscious and looking for natural and environment-friendly foods. — Photo

HCM CITY — Consumers are increasingly looking for natural and environment-friendly products and those with health benefits after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the High Quality Vietnamese Product Business Association.

Vũ Kim Hạnh, its chairwoman, who led a Vietnamese business delegation to THAIFEX-Anuga Asia, the region’s largest food and beverage trade fair, in Bangkok last month, said consumers were obsessed with the pandemic and looked for foods that boost their health and immunity but are convenient.

Speaking at a seminar in HCM City last week, she said demand for plant-based products and alternative protein products had grown significantly.

Surveying 1,000 booths at THAIFEX, her delegation found that the current demand was for plant-based products, but other emerging trends included products derived from insects and biological products developed from lab and fungi, she said.

“All these three products are under a common concept called ‘alternative protein’. We went through the THAIFEX fair and saw many booths showcasing ‘alternative proteins’.”

Nguyễn Trường Thịnh, deputy sales director of Lương Quới Coconut Co., Ltd, said: “After the pandemic, natural and organic products have received greater attention from consumers. When we did market research, we found that though incomes have decreased, people are willing to cut other expenses to buy products that are good for their health.

“This is a trend that we and other manufacturers cannot miss.”

Earlier his company used to sell simple products such as coconut oil, but now uses many new technologies, including UHT sterilization technology (used for dairy industry) to keep coconuts’ freshness at 95 per cent.

According to Nguyễn Lê Quốc Tuấn, CEO of Sông Hương Foods, which makes products from eggplant and other traditional items, the company’s products are naturally fermented by using an improved traditional process to ensure health benefits and natural flavours.

Lý Huy Sáng, general director of Minh Long I, said kitchen utensils helped increase the taste of food, but cooking would also affect the quality of food, directly affecting health.

That was why his company constantly researches and develops premium porcelain cooking product lines (macrobiotic cookware) that help retain flavour and nutrition in foods after cooking.

Hạnh said: “In general, the way people buy and consume food and agricultural products has changed a lot since before the pandemic. For instance, consumers are now more interested in green-clean foods, foods that bring variety to their diets and are environment-friendly.

“Enterprises should promote local advantages and tropical foods.” — VNS



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