Opportunities for healthy food products and premium alcoholic beverages in Thailand

healthy food alcoholic-beverages
Susanna Eltvik
00 669 3020 9109
Thailand is the second-biggest economy in ASEAN and a major global tourism destination.  This dynamic and consumer-driven market with over 69 mn inhabitants and rising disposable income and huge visitor market of around 35 million is increasing its demand for imported food and beverages.The economic growth and urbanisation in Thailand over the last few decades has contributed to growing demand for higher-value fresh and processed products amongst a well-educated, middle and upper-income population.

According to Euromonitor the sales volume of packaged food in 2018 was 4,667.6 (000 tonnes) and the growth compared to 2017 was 3 %. Total volume sales of spirits increase by 3 % , rising to 746 million litres

Health has become a crucial factor in purchasing decisions for consumers in Asia. Thai consumers are increasingly looking to inherent health benefits from natural ingredients which convey "better-for-you appeal". Current trends are interconnected and revolve around the emerging values of trust, self-care, individuality and sustainability.

In general, urbanised Thai consumers are paying more attention to a healthy diet and view Finland as a reliable, reputable supplier of clean, healthy and high-quality products. 

Emphasis should be focused towards the middle-high income local consumers, expatriate consumers, and the tourist markets and opportunities could be found at the following:

  • High-end urban supermarket chains
  • Independent distributors
  • Local e-commerce businesses
  • Health / Wellness centres
  • 4/5 Star Hotels
  • Restaurant chains

Companies and sectors benefitting from this opportunity

  • Finnish food and beverages producers

Solutions or products needed

  • Healthy food products: Natural, Organic, Superfoods
  • Berry-based product: Fresh, Frozen, Snacks
  • Cereal-based product: Rye Breads, Wholegrain, Oat based, Snacks
  • Snack products: Ready to eat, Convenient, Healthy, Vegetarian, Meat snacks
  • Beverages: Healthy, Berry-based
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Premium Spirits
  • Festive Products: Premium produce for Christmas festivities

Team Finland activities available for Finnish companies

Finnish companies will have the chance to discuss with selected Thai food and alcohol importers in Helsinki at a 'meet the buyer'- event on March 20th 2019.  The event is organized by Business Finland's growth program Food from Finland. In case you're interested in getting the invitation and buyer profiles, please contact tiina.luoma@businessfinland.fi


In case you are interested in this opportunity or want to know more about the Thai market please contact: Susanna Eltvik susanna.eltvik@formin.fi Team Finland, Embassy of Finland in Bangkok

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The Thai Government has also developed a policy to present Thailand as the 'kitchen of the world', promoting the use of both locally and international sourced foods.  Also created the food-optimized industrial park, known as Food Innopolis as one of ten key growth engines in-line with the "Thailand 4.0" economic model.  The food industry contributed roughly 23% of the country's GDP. 

The fast-growing Thai middle-class are also wanting to emulate western dining culture using authentic imported food and beverages. Scandinavian kitchen is promoted by Ikea which has two stores in Thailand.

Quality and health considerations, rather than price, are becoming key purchasing factors.  However, the market for Thailand's predominantly working-class population is dominated by a few local conglomerates, the emphasis here is low cost.

Bangkok's metropolitan area remains Thailand's largest consumer market but higher disposable incomes and increased tourism in regional Thailand is also fuelling new demand for quality imported food and beverages in these areas.

New food products will be launched with additional ingredients to boost the health ranking and claims will be used on packaging. Organic is among the fastest growing health claims in Asia.  It accounts for 21% of total health claims made in Asia were for organic products in the year of 2017.  Claims concerning veganism and convenience combined have gone up by 27% according to Innova Market Insights with a total of almost 258 thousand claims worldwide.  

Interesting fairs in Thailand

THAIFEX – World of Food Asia (28 May 2019 – 01 June 2019)

THAIFEX – World of Food Asia is the leading annual international trade exhibition for food & beverage, foodservice technology, retail & franchise in Asia.  It is a trade event to meet, establish new business networks and to heighten your success.  This one-stop food exhibition also features latest food producing technologies, food safety standards, related businesses and services, as well as a most fascinating culinary experience from the world of food


FHT – Food & Hotel Thailand (4 – 7 September 2019

FHT – The international exhibition of food & drink, hotel, bakery, restaurant & foodservice equipment, supplies & services