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October 1, 2014

IFA 2014 Review: All About Lifestyle Changes

Jamie_KoAnalyst Insight by Jamie Ko - Head of Consumer Appliances Research

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While perusing the exhibition halls at the recent IFA 2014 in Berlin, it became apparent to me that there was a major focus by the participating exhibitors on showcasing appliances and technologies that enhance lifestyles. The star products at IFA 2014 were cooking appliances, juice extractors, coffee machines and air treatment products. In addition, the smart home concept of connected appliances was also on show through refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers.

Expanding smart appliances to smart home


While smart appliances at previous IFAs focused on smart features within a single product (ie washing machines with a smartphone), the 2014 edition of IFA saw the concept evolve distinctly into a total home package, ie smart home. Leading the charge, Samsung’s Smart Home showcased the applicability of smart appliances in everyday life, when one is at and away from home, using and controlling appliances via smartphones interactively. Similarly, LG Corp’s Homechat, leveraging on SNS, allows consumers to control/operate their appliances from remote locations. Not to be left out of this emerging niche, European companies are also committed to building their presence in smart home technologies. BSH Bosch & Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH introduced Home Connect, which controls and provides service assistance with ovens and dishwashers, as well as offering a database of recipes and video tutorials to help with cooking. Miele demonstrated its smart home network system, which uses apps to control appliances. As the possibility of a commercially viable launch of the smart home concept appears brighter with each passing IFA, this year, the main concern raised was how to build platforms with appliances across different brands as well as commercialising products in actual markets.

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September 29, 2014

Why do Consumers Prefer Local Products?

Daphne KasrielAnalyst Insight by Daphne Kasriel-Alexander - Consumer Trends Consultant

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“Think globally, act locally,” long the maxim for successful politics stressing a preference for all things local, is emerging as a global trend. Consumers are looking for locally-sourced produce and are interested in regional foods and tradition. For some, the "local" label is becoming a stronger buying criterion than “organic”.

Among other things, the propensity for all things local indicates consumer anxieties. In the political arena, it expresses a local outlook seeking to return to traditional regional and ethnic communities, and in culture there is a growing revival of local music, old dialects and languages. 

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Asia’s Consumer Markets of the Future


View Sarah Boumphrey's profile on LinkedIn

Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka: five markets home to a combined 253 million people, representing a total consumer market of US$213 billion. These economies represent some of the best potential growth markets for consumer goods companies in the region. Knowledge – of the market, consumers, business environment partners and suppliers – is key to success in these lesser-known and frontier economies. Optimism abounds, but challenges are also apparent.

Between 2014 and 2030 real GDP growth in these economies is expected to average 7.0% per annum – compared to 6.1% in emerging Asia as a whole. Total consumer expenditure will triple in Laos in real terms between 2014 and 2030. In Sri Lanka, per capita consumer expenditure will approach US$6,000 (in 2013 prices) in 2030 – way above the average for emerging Asia and higher than that of established emerging markets in the region such as Indonesia and India.  Consumer market growth in these five economies will be driven by a combination of factors including population growth, urbanisation, prudent fiscal policies, tourism, increasing global trade linkages and natural resources.

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September 28, 2014

Weight Management and the Ageing Population Offer Opportunities in Asia Pacific

Minji KimAnalyst Insight by Minji Kim - Research Analyst

I recently spoke at Vitafoods Asia 2014 where the latest food and beverage product development trends were discussed among industry experts. Topics covered included Asia Pacific’s Muslim community, safety standards and the labelling of functional foods, plus a focus on various ingredients such as monkfruit, an emerging sweetener in Asia Pacific. The world’s ageing population and growing concern over obesity were also in the spotlight during the event.

I gave two presentations titled Consumer Trends in Weight Management in Asia Pacific: Challenges and Opportunities for the Industry and Unique Characteristics of Ageing Consumers and Opportunities for the Food and Beverages Market, which highlighted the key trends and some of the recent product developments within the industry. An overview of these presentations is given below. 

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September 27, 2014

Dawn of a New Era: The Unstoppable Rise of Digital Play

Utku_TanselAnalyst Insight by Utku Tansel - Head of Toys and Games Research

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Euromonitor International attended the second World Congress of Play in San Francisco on 8-10 September 2014, which brought the world’s leading diverse play companies together. Presenting at this key industry event for the second year running, I made a “Global Trends in Play: Consumer Fundamentals Falling into Place” address, focusing on some of the key findings from Euromonitor International’s latest global research, looking into the performance of traditional toys and games, video games and digital gaming, providing data as well as commentary.

Among others, one key trend that emerged at the congress was the unstoppable rise of digital gaming in the overall play industry. In 2013, digital gaming, a combination of PC/console game downloads, online games and mobile games, was the most dynamic category in overall toys and games globally, recording over 12% growth in value terms. The increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets, an improved gaming experience on these devices, as well as new game launches, all contributed greatly to the category’s phenomenal performance. Alongside the arrival of much anticipated next-generation console launches (Xbox One and PS4), digital gaming’s dynamism was one the main facilitators helping the global video games market to record a positive performance for the first time since 2009. 

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Move Over, Better Burgers: Better Pizza is Here, and It's About to Take Off

ElizabethFriendAnalyst Insight by Elizabeth Friend - Senior Consumer Foodservice Analyst

The US restaurant world has been rumbling about better pizza for a few years now, but the trend is nearing a tipping point. With better burgers speeding toward its apex, forward-looking fast casual consumers are looking toward the next big culinary trend, and better pizza seems poised to take up the mantle. These chains aren’t just fast casual pizza chains, they’re artisanal, usually wood-fired and Neopolitan-style pizza concepts that emphasise a fresher, healthier positioning and a whole new kind of pizza dining occasion. They’re customisable and flexible, with strong branding and a focus on ingredients, and they’re spreading quickly across the US with high potential for international expansion over the long-term.

Quick, customisable, and premium


 800 Degrees' assembly line ordering system is paired with a gourmet, wood-fired pizza preparation

Image by Flickr user LWYang

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Is Internet Retailing Finally Having its Day in the UAE?

Karen Van DiesenAnalyst Insight by Karen Van Diesen - Research Analyst

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Bricks and mortar retailers in the UAE have long been in denial about the internet being a viable threat to their businesses. But, as the rising growth of this channel in recent years has illustrated, internet retailing is not only making its mark, it is here to stay.

With all the mall extensions in the UAE, one can be forgiven for not thinking internet retailing has much potential in the country. The strong shopping culture, challenging logistics and a weak investment climate for online retailers have all posed a strong hurdle, hindering the channel from really taking off. In recent years, however, e-commerce players have been making strong headway in overcoming these barriers. Euromonitor International’s growth figures show the channel has tripled in size over the past five years, with sales reaching AED2.0 billion in 2014. And, the future of internet retailing also looks bright, with an expected constant value CAGR of 38% between 2014 and 2019.

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September 26, 2014

Middle East and Africa - Local Beauty Players Set to Claim a Share of the Pie

Oru_MohiuddinAnalyst Insight by Oru Mohiuddin - Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst

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The fact that its forecast 4% CAGR will make the Middle East and Africa the third fastest-growing region in percentage terms between 2013 and 2018, accounting for nearly 10% of global growth over this period, is good news for beauty manufacturers. However, the question is whether it will be better news for local businesses or multinational players, as we are now seeing a growing tussle between the two camps? Despite the attractiveness of the market, it is not a straightforward situation for Western beauty players as there are a number of inherent challenges that need to be grappled with to make their ventures a success.

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September 25, 2014

Unilever: Qinyuan Acquisition to Complement Pureit

Hope.LeeAnalyst Insight by Hope Lee - Senior Beverages Analyst

In the first part of this two-part article, I highlighted China’s booming water purification market. In the second part, I will focuses on the strategic reasoning behind Unilever’s Qinyuan acquisition.

Unilever is a household name in China, ranked third in beauty and personal care and home care. The company also has a prominent position in hot drinks and it is present in packaged food. The company has recorded slow sales in ice cream and tea in recent years and is eager to look for new growth opportunities in China. Its acquisition of local water purification company Qinyuan came as a surprise to some local companies as this market is far beyond Unilever’s traditional FMCG heartland. While this move might have created excitement among international investors, it also confused some local players. That said, the psychological impact is significant. Some Chinese companies will be wondering which will be the next multinational to involve itself in similar Chinese operations, and which local companies are likely to be its focus. Ambitious companies such as Haier Strauss Water, Meidi and Angel may start feeling under pressure from Unilever’s Qinyuan acquisition, and considering a counter strategy.

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September 24, 2014

China’s Booming Water Purification Market

Hope.LeeAnalyst Insight by Hope Lee - Senior Beverages Analyst

This is the first of part of an article on China’s water purification market and Unilever’s Qinyuan acquisition. China’s level of water pollution has grown in tandem with its rapid industrial revolution and urbanisation. Consumer awareness of water quality and safety, rising living standard and improved levels of income have contributed to the increasing demand for bottled water. Euromonitor International’s data show that China’s bottled water market is worth approximately US$18 billion in 2014, and the country is set to continue to be the growth engine of global bottled water sales in next few years. Simply satisfying 1.4 billion people’s basic needs - safe water and sufficient food - offers abundant business opportunity and challenges.

Nevertheless, the consumer market is changing and the competitive environment is evolving constantly. Euromonitor International’s field analyst commented that sales of bulk water are likely to be affected by the growing adoption of household purification and filtration devices, as evidence shows that a growing number of households are opting for various purification solutions as a replacement for bulk water. Unilever took a swift move in this dynamic market and acquired a local company, Qinyuan, to complement its international brand Pureit in 2014.

Continue reading "China’s Booming Water Purification Market" »


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Recent Posts

IFA 2014 Review: All About Lifestyle Changes

Why do Consumers Prefer Local Products?

Asia’s Consumer Markets of the Future

Weight Management and the Ageing Population Offer Opportunities in Asia Pacific

Dawn of a New Era: The Unstoppable Rise of Digital Play

Move Over, Better Burgers: Better Pizza is Here, and It's About to Take Off

Is Internet Retailing Finally Having its Day in the UAE?

Middle East and Africa - Local Beauty Players Set to Claim a Share of the Pie

Unilever: Qinyuan Acquisition to Complement Pureit

China’s Booming Water Purification Market