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Automation and software solutions for the Australian, New Zealand and Southeast Asian food and beverage industry is expected to grow at a rate of 10-15%, according to a report by FoodMag.com.au, citing a Frost & Sullivan report.

The Frost & Sullivan report — “Southeast Asia and Australia and New Zealand Automation and Software Solutions Market in the Food and Beverage Industry” — indicated that the market earned revenues of over AUD$72.1 million (NZ$89 million) in 2008 and is estimated to reach $107 million by 2015.

The Asia Pacific food and beverage region is witnessing fast-paced evolution as consumer preferences change and there is a demand for high-quality products that promote health.

Also, food and beverage investors are continuing to target Southeast Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand due to their growing status as hubs for production and export. This has led to soaring energy prices resulting in a spike in food prices, the report says.

Manufacturers are investing in automation and software solutions to keep pace with the existing and upcoming competition from local participants, Vandhana Venkatesan, Frost & Sullivan research associate was quoted as saying.

The automation and software solutions market is highly fragmented, and the retail segment is characterised by intense competition, leading to price pressure. However, competition has triggered innovation to ensure market progression, ensuring technology is constantly upgraded, the report adds.

Web-based and wireless technologies are the recent trends in the industry.  Automation and software solutions manufacturers have to provide consulting services in the form of training and devise smart marketing strategies to rake in increased revenues as well as establish a strong brand image. Product differentiation in terms of building user-friendly and industry-specific products is necessary to cater to the growing demand, the report says.

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