Jakarta. Majority of Indonesian urbanites — or city dwellers — are eating healthier and exercising more this year, fueling the demand for high-protein foods and sports drinks in the country, according to report published by global marketing intelligence firm Mintel.
The company's report titled "A Balancing Act: Health & Fitness and The Impact on Innovation" published on Thursday (24/08) showed that 75 percent of urban Indonesians said they aim to have a healthier diet this year, while 58 percent want to exercise more.
Meanwhile, 63 percent of urban Indonesians said they believed regular exercise is important to maintain their fitness levels and health. The report also noted the growing trend of outdoor group exercise classes.
Mintel conducted an online survey in June, polled at least 1,192 Internet users aged 18 and above. The study was one component of a larger study covering the Southeast Asian region. The majority of respondents live in big cities, with a majority from Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Semarang
"Improving health and fitness is now a key focus of consumers across Southeast Asia, particularly through their diets and exercise. Consumers in the region show continuous interest in protein and are incorporating more of it into their daily diet and eating regime," Mintel head of Asia Pacific, Jane Barnett said in a statement on Thursday.
About 41 percent of urban Indonesians also avoid refined sugar and consume more sports energy drinks and mineral water that is infused with fruits or vegetables.
Around 64 percent of them enjoy consuming high protein foods with 37 percent of them believing that a high-protein diet helps manage weight. Around 42 percent of urban Indonesians said that high protein in food and beverages provides them with long-lasting energy.
Mintel found a similar trend in Thailand where 64 percent of urban consumers said they prefer to consume foods that are naturally high in protein, up from 41 percent last year.
"Much of this growth in demand is attributable to consumers' belief that protein aids in the pursuit or maintenance of a healthy physique, and provides them with energy and satiety," added Barnett.
Mintel also showed that Indonesians will be the second fastest growing consumers of sports drinks in Southeast Asia for the next five years. The report noted that the compound annual growth rate for sports drinks rose 13.8 percent, just below Vietnam at 14.5 percent, above Malaysia at 7.7 percent and Thailand at 5 percent.
Food and beverage companies have taken note of the health-conscious trend, as there was a 26 percent global increase in protein-rich food and drink products between June 2015-2017, the report said.
However, there was only a 5 percent growth in the number of healthy products launched in Asia Pacific in the last two years.
"While brands in Asia Pacific have taken notice of this interest, there is still more room for innovation within the region," Barnett said.