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Emerging markets hold sweet hope for dessert mixes

By Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn , 18-Dec-2013

Multinationals looking to target these emerging markets must consider price and local taste, warns Euromonitor
Multinationals looking to target these emerging markets must consider price and local taste, warns Euromonitor

Tunisia, Iran, Serbia and Indonesia hold great promise for dry dessert mixes given that these markets have less chilled and frozen storage, an analyst says.

Euromonitor International has pinpointed Tunisia, Iran, Serbia and Indonesia as key markets driving overall volume and value growth in dessert mixes.

Deborah Cross, food industry analyst at Euromonitor, said that opportunities are rife in these markets, predominantly due to a notable lack of chilled and frozen food storage compared to mature markets.

“These markets therefore tend to favor dried foods for shelf life and convenience, where dessert mixes have their strength, when compared to frozen and chilled storage food,” she told BakeryandSnacks.com.

Low pricing fuels appeal and key to success       

Within these markets, pricing must be akey consideration, Cross said. In high-growth market Indonesia, there are an increasing number of private label products, she said, that target the country’s large low-income population, meaning price competition is tight.

Dessert mixes in Indonesia mainly comprise of agar-agar/jelly and cake mixes.

In Tunisia, the low cost of dessert mixes is fueling demand, Cross said. Tunisians are looking for ways to eat desserts more cheaply than previously as they have become more price sensitive, she said, and this has seen many consumers replacing ice creams and packaged cakes available mainly in supermarkets or hypermarkets with dessert mixes.

Domestic manufacturers dominate – is there international hope?

Within these markets, with the exception of Tunisia, domestic manufacturers tend to dominate, Cross said. In Iran, this is in line with the government’s policy of reducing dependence on foreign trade as part of its plan to boost self-sufficiency, she said.  

“Limited importing for multinational dessert mixes took place [this year], but domestic brands performed strongly and their expensive unit price could not change the competitive environment.”

The markets are set to develop more as these domestic players up investment in distribution and advertising, she added.

However, amid local players, Dr August Oetker still has a presence in both Serbia and Iran. “Possibly, this brand could expand in the next few years by applying its expertise,” she said.

In Tunisia this environment of consolidation has already been seen, she explained, with Unilever holding a relatively high market share with its subsidiary Groupe Bismuth’s Alsa brand.

Multinationals must play to local taste

Multinationals looking to expand into these markets should playto local tastes if they want to appeal to the mass market, Cross said, although there may be opportunity for Western flavors as premium brands.

She said that association with on-trend products could also work to boost business.

”If consumers are increasingly likely to consume instant noodles or dried ready meals, then dessert mix companies could promote themselves as an ideal accompaniment - for example, why not follow up instant noodles with instant dessert mix combined with fresh fruit..?”

Distribution will also play a crucial role in the success of multinationals in the countries, Cross said.

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