Asian consumers are increasingly selective about the sustainability and nutritional credentials of their snacks, according to major global confectionery and food brand Mondelēz International.
“Consumers are becoming more intentional about their purchase decisions and aligning their snacking preferences, behaviors and purchasing decisions with their values, migrating towards brands and companies that echo their values. As a matter of fact, over 61% of consumers globally agree they would pay a small carbon tax on a snack to offset the environmental impact of making it. 63% of consumers also agree that snacks with a higher environmental impact should cost; this opinion is shared especially among 70% of millennials and 69% of Gen Z,” says Narmeen Khan, managing director at Mondelēz International Malaysia & Singapore.
Speaking to AFN ahead of the Future Food Summit in Malaysia, where she is set to speak, Khan shared that over 80% of consumers in India, Indonesia and China are in the habit of checking the nutritional levels of their snacks too, according to research from Mondelēz International.
The food company now says it plans to tackle climate change and package waste by working to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, having a ‘snack mindfully’ portion icon on all its packaging by 2025, and 100% of its packaging be recyclable by 2025. Currently, Mondelēz International claims 95% of its packaging is recyclable.
The food producer claims to have already started offering eco-friendly packaging and portion control options with its biscuit brands OREO, Tiger and Jacob’s.
Malaysia as an innovation den
Malaysia, which will host the summit in Kuala Lumpur for the second year running, has definitely shown willingness in heading towards sustainability, a key theme in its 12th Development Plan which aims to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050.
Mondelēz International in Malaysia is already aligning itself with the government’s mission by fitting solar systems in two of its production plants in the country, with the aim of offsetting 13,000 tons of CO2 emissions in 25 years. According to Mondelez, the plants already reported a combined reduction of water consumption by 18.6% and waste by 11.3% in 2021 over the previous year.
The company also claims to source sustainable raw materials and is a founding member of the Malaysia Recycling Alliance (MAREA) with goals to recycle a minimum of 25% of its members’ packaging volumes by 2025.
ASEAN innovators to meet
While sustainable snacking is one topic, there are many other trends emerging from Malaysia and the Southeast Asia region that will feature at the Kuala Lumpur-based summit including novel farming systems, scaling plant-based and alt-proteins, food e-commerce and digital labeling, food waste, and food as medicine. And the following startups will pitch their wares.
- Future Protein Solutions, an insect-based protein producer from Singapore
- ento, a producer of insect-based products from Malaysia
- Saffron Systems, an ag robotics company based in Singapore
- Urban Greens, a Philippino company that produces and delivers greens cultivated via hydroponics Philippine
- Agritix, a farm and forestry software management provider from Malaysia
- Nanka, a Malaysian producer of plant-based meat made from jackfruit
- Ekkbaz, a Singapore B2B Ecommerce platform for formal and informal FMCG traders