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Asia 2021: The path of growth from leading FMCG brands



Asia 2021: The path of growth from leading FMCG brands

Welcome to the third annual Asia Brand Footprint publication, which recognises and celebrates the most chosen consumer brands across Asian markets. We are now into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health crisis continues to drive shoppers’ behaviours and the trends we see in the FMCG market, setting the context for brands and determining how they are able to grow their footprint in the region.

Asia’s Most Chosen FMCG Brands in 2020


The unique circumstances of the pandemic have accelerated four key trends in Asia:

  • An increased focus from physical hygiene to inner health and wellness. People are taking a more holistic view of wellness. Prevention, protection and function become more important, and they are also paying attention to emotional wellbeing. Health supplements are booming as consumers are willing to spend on products that will boost their immune systems. FMCG brands have embraced this trend by targeting communications towards specific concerns, reassuring shoppers and developing innovative products that meet these new needs.
  • Behaviours differ by market and category therefore do not average Asia. As we predicted last year, some consumers shifted their spend to value brands, while others have moved to the premium end of the market. Not everyone was willing to give up luxury during lockdown and many bought treats to give themselves a boost when they could not go out. Successful FMCG brands excelled at showing consumers they do not need to compromise, by creating great “moments” and generous promotions to encourage trading up.
  • Stay home economy will continue to remain important. Consumers’ desire to live better during this period of lockdowns has boosted in-home categories. For example, consumers started recreating their favourite dining experiences, making more exquisite meals in their homes or mimicking the out of home experience at home. For example, personal care brands launched ‘home spa’ products that enabled people to give themselves that moment of relaxation and self-care. Consumers have also become more environmentally friendly in their product selection. 
  • Ecommerce with continuous potential for growth. Millions more consumers have turned to ecommerce as a regular shopping channel. Users have increased in quality as well as quantity, with a rise in ‘middle aged’ shoppers, a group with huge spending power. Brands are using digital platforms to transform the way they sell, with livestreaming video proving highly effective as both a sales conversion point and a brand communication channel. Many have introduced delivery services to ensure they retain existing shoppers and maintain loyalty.

Also, in this year’s publication, you will find the overview for the Asia region, detailed profiles for each market, brand success stories and outlook for 2021. In addition, the publication identifies the implications of this year’s changes for the future of brands and retailers.

Marcy Kou, Managing Director, Worldpanel Asia at Kantar, said: “2020 was a challenging year for companies to navigate, but FMCG brands across Asia have remained consistent and responsive to consumer trends. The events of COVID-19 turned the previously slow growth of FMCG brands on its head, with more innovation enabling many brands to accelerate their growth in 2020. With penetration being the crucial driver of brand growth, 86% of growing brands saw an increase in the number of shoppers choosing them, pointing to more consistent growth with shopper gains seen across more markets.”

Fabrice Carrasco, Managing Director, Vietnam & Philippines Asia Strategic Projects Director Worldpanel Division at Kantar, added: " Vietnam in-home FMCG market hit a five-year high as a result of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We witnessed a clear shift among Vietnamese consumers towards essentials, cooking and hygiene as well as a shift from out-of-home to in-home occasions. As such, food sector was the biggest winner last year, and therefore, all the rankings, especially the top risers, are dominated by food brands. Also, penetration is still king! Growing consumer base remains the key driver for brand growth while innovation plays an important role in attracting new consumers, something we see in common across many of the fastest growing brands. 2021 will pose challenges. In order to grow, brands need a constant understanding of ever-changing consumer behaviours and must move quickly to respond to new trends, whether they are in terms of evolving expected product benefits (convenience, health or value for money, for example) or in terms of channel choices (such as e-commerce or minimarkets)."

Access the report and explore the complete rankings here.

Listen to Future Proof Asia video podcast with Marcy Kou - Managing Director, Worldpanel Asia, click here.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.


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Fabrice Carrasco

Managing Director, Vietnam & Philippines | Asia Strategic Projects Director


+84 28 3930 6631

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