The Thai future food industry is expected to see a 5% growth this year, as the demand for healthier and more environmentally friendly food options rises. Visit Limlurcha, president of the Thai Future Food Trade Association, highlights the potential for export growth due to global trends that are bringing about significant changes in production, economies, lifestyle, society, and behaviour.
From 2016 to 2022, the Thai future food sector experienced an average annual growth of 7%, with the industry’s value increasing from US$2.5 billion to $3.73 billion. This accounted for 9% of all food exports in 2022. The association aims for a 5% growth in Thai future food exports this year, building on the high base established last year. The value of $3.73 billion, a 12% increase from 2021, was driven by increased demand for food security and heightened health awareness among consumers in both domestic and international markets following the pandemic.
“The food industry must accelerate efforts to add value to their products, ensuring reliability, enhancing food security, and fostering fair trade competition to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Limlurcha.
To raise awareness about future food, the association is focusing more on the domestic market this year and has launched a campaign called “Wen Day on Wednesday”. The campaign encourages Thai consumers, restaurants, canteens, schools, hotels, and hospitals to offer future foods every Wednesday. Inspired by initiatives like Meatless Monday in the US, the campaign promotes the consumption of plant-based, mushroom, fermented, and insect-based foods, as well as organically grown and functional foods.
Health is a major trend affecting the food industry, as the pandemic has made people more aware of their health, leading to a preference for healthy food, exercises for rehabilitation, and a focus on hygiene and safety to prevent both communicable and non-communicable diseases. In response to this trend, food operators have improved their formulations, changed their products, and developed new offerings to meet consumer demand.
Technology is another trend influencing the food industry, with innovative food products continuously entering the global market, often using advanced technologies to support their expansion. Some of the technologies used in the industry include bioengineering, synthetic biology, genetic modification, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, big data management, blockchain, robotics, augmented reality, mixed reality, and virtual reality.
Environmental concerns have garnered global attention, particularly because of the impact of climate change, which has resulted in more frequent and severe natural disasters, loss of property, disrupted ecosystems, and food insecurity. As a result, consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of sustainable sourcing and responsible production methods, reports Bangkok Post.
“Addressing the challenges posed by these global trends requires a comprehensive understanding of how to redesign our food system to promote health, sustainability, resilience to climate change, and alignment with new world demands,” Limlurcha said.
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.