Fresh produce opportunities in Singapore

Wed 04/01/2017 by Julie Butler
There is strong demand for fresh products in Singapore, where significant opportunities exist for firms to sell food items that are both fresh and ready-made or easy to prepare.

There is strong demand for fresh products in Singapore, a country where the fresh fruit and vegetables market is estimated to have been worth about $1 billion last year.

“Even busy professionals who cannot make treks to the markets frequently will buy fresh produce and freeze it themselves to consume later. Therefore, significant opportunity exists for firms to sell food items that are both fresh and ready-made or easy to prepare.”

That’s among the advice in a case study in the 2016 Cold Chain Top Markets Report by the International Trade Administration, part of the US Department of Commerce.

Due to land constraints, as much as 90% of Singapore’s food must be imported, it says.

“Recent trends have shown Singaporean retailers sourcing more agriculture products beyond the region to meet the 5.5 percent annual increase demand of the local markets. Products range from generic to high-end organic foods.”


Among other interesting details:

  • Singapore’s retail food sector is among the most advanced in the world.
  • The mature nature of its mass grocery retail sector means retailers must be highly innovative to remain competitive.
  • Singapore has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, presenting a high level of consumer purchasing power.
  • Catering to consumer preferences, rather than competing on price alone, presents an opportunity for exporters.
  • Singaporean customers often value the ease of shopping in convenience stores or online.
  • Rising obesity rates have created demand for healthy processed foods.
  • Wet markets still represent a major point of sale for fresh grocery products.
  • Many businesses use Singapore as a distribution center and a showcase for concepts to wider Asia.
  • E-commerce and direct-to-consumer deliveries of temperature-sensitive products can expect to find excellent opportunities in this market.
  • The growth of online shopping for food and groceries should increase demand for refrigerated deliveries and warehouses.
  • Singapore has a highly developed and sophisticated cold chain distribution system.
  • It is becoming a hub for perishable products moving from one part of the world to another.
  • At Coolport@Changi, a $16 million 8,000 m2 building is the transit point for 90% of the perishable goods passing through the airport.
  • Singaporeans pride themselves on living in a ‘foodie’ country.

Source: TOP MARKETS SERIES: COLD SUPPLY CHAIN (U.S. Department of Commerce | International Trade Administration | Industry & Analysis)

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