Singapore: When it comes to what Singaporeans eat, most are fiercely independent and crave local flavours with more than four in five choosing to eat at hawker centres when not at home, and 44 percent believing foreign food will not impact local food. They are also unfazed by celebrity chefs or restaurant rating systems, according to the inaugural Food Forward Trends Report 2014, published by Weber Shandwick.
The report surveyed more than 750 Singaporean consumers and food experts nationwide, including food writers, chefs, bloggers, nutritionists and researchers, to look at how these trends are impacting corporations, industry bodies and policy makers, and how these trends will fuel further discussion between retailers, brands and consumers.
The results of the survey revealed four key trends that are predicted to impact food habits in Singapore:
- Preference and pride will keep palates local
Strong preference for local food is evident as only 17 percent of consumers say that they choose to shop at specialty supermarkets for foreigners. Experts and consumers alike agree hawker food will continue to be a staple in the Singapore food scene and shows no signs of slowing down.
- Busy life, eating rife
Singaporeans are working more which means more meals are consumed on-the-go. Our survey shows that nearly two thirds of Singaporeans (61 percent) ate out more frequently in the past year than they did in the two years prior.
Singaporeans are also concerned, with three in four (76 percent) feeling that obesity is becoming a growing problem. But when nearly a third (30 percent) eat out three times a week or more, and more than a third (37 percent) eat out at least once a week, curbing temptation for the quick, easy and often fatty meal, can be a challenge and is likely not helping Singaporeans make healthy choices a priority.
- The gap between technology and food continues to shrink.
According to experts, the love affair with technology among foodies is likely to rise even further in the year ahead. Purchasing behaviour is also affected by technology and the prevalence of the internet. Some 50 percent of respondents said that they purchased food online at least once in 2013 and 15 percent purchased food online between one and three times per month.
- Moving away from international grading and celebrity hype
Nearly two thirds (63 percent) of consumers said that Singapore does not need the internationally renowned Michelin Guide to grade its restaurants. When it comes to being influenced by celebrities, only a quarter of respondents said that they are likely to buy a product or visit a restaurant that is endorsed by a celebrity chef.