EDITOR’S NOTE: Money does not Mean Good Health
Our normal routine usually consists of waking up, the commute to work and work itself. After work, we drag our exhausted bodies home to relax before the next day begins. With today’s hectic lifestyles, it’s difficult to find time even to rest and even more difficult to maintain good health.
Many people are currently moving from rural area to cities for work, including in Thailand. According to the World Bank report, East Asia’s Changing Urban Landscape, urban growth is dominated by Bangkok’s urban area with an urban population increasing from 9.3 million in 2000 to almost 11.8 million in 2010. The average annual rate of urban population growth was 2.3%. An increasing urban population combined with higher incomes has brought more purchasing power to consumers which in turn means large opportunities for business, especially food & beverage manufacturers.
Convenience stores are growing in accordance with urbanization to meet lifestyle changes. 7-Eleven, the biggest convenience store in Thailand’s market, now has more than 8,000 branches nationwide as of 2014, with over 500 locations in Bangkok alone. An average of 1,300 people walk into these stores everyday, with an average of 65,000 baht in daily total sales per branch. There are numerous food & beverage products available for various demands, including ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook food. Consumers are sometimes concerned with time and convenience rather than healthiness as dictated by their timeframe or purchasing power, which may also lead to the purchasing of less expensive options with lower nutritional values.
Such behavior may lead to health problems, so many products are being developed to solve this problem. Some have added functional ingredients, while other are passed through mild processing or are developed from naturally reliable sources with the purpose of enhancing health and wellbeing. It’s great to hear that these healthy products are growing rapidly as consumers are actively looking for these products and more aware of their own health.
However, this presents a great opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers to produce on-the-go food options that combine the convenience consumers seek with the healthy food options they may not otherwise have time to purchase. Providing more healthy options while also being more conscious of what we eat will surely make a difference both long- and short-term.
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