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Demand for healthy low-fat breakfast cereals with more fibre or fortification with vitamins/minerals and claims pertaining to weight management, are some of the factors stimulating the bakery and cereals market in Asia Pacific, according to BakeryandSnacks.com.

Citing figures from Datamonitor, the report says the bakery and cereals sector in Asia Pacific will be worth US$68.5 billion (NZ$103 billion), with an expected CAGR of 6.4% between 2008 and 2013.

Increased urbanization, rising levels of disposable incomes, exposure to Western culture dietary habits are some of the reasons for buoyance in the category, the report says, quoting Datamonitor’s Nikhil Aggarwal, senior consumer goods analyst.

He adds that an affinity for healthy offerings is a key trend that reflects global consumer packaged goods (CPG) sentiments, and the bakery and cereals segment in Asia-Pacific is no exception.

The bakery and cereals market in Asia Pacific is led by cakes and pastries, which represent 48.5% of the segment, followed by bread and rolls and sweet biscuits, with 23.2% and 14.9% market share, respectively.

Crackers such as savoury biscuits, breakfast cereals and morning goods constitute the remaining categories with a 7.1%, 4.9% and 1.3% market share, respectively.

The breakfast cereals category is expected to achieve sales worth $2.8 billion this year, representing a year-on-year growth of 6.3% over 2009.

Other factors contributing to the demand for breakfast foods in Asia Pacific are the appeal of convenient breakfast food, especially the ready-to-eat category; and the developing organized retail system within the Asia-Pacific region which will increase both product visibility and availability.

As urban markets reach high penetration levels, companies are expected to dedicate significant resources into expanding distribution networks to reach large, lucrative, yet untapped rural markets, the report says.

Indeed, Datamonitor’s Recovery from Recession (RfR) service, which tracks global consumer spending intentions on a monthly basis, found that the majority of consumers in the Asia-Pacific will continue to spend on baked goods and cereals.

In April 2010 for example, the market researchers note, 68% of Australian consumers reported they would be maintaining their level of expenditure on cereals – considerably higher than the proportion who said the same about confectionery – 45 %.

In China, 56% of consumers said they would maintain cereal spend, while a substantial minority of 11% said they would actually be increasing their expenditure in this category, reflecting the potential of such products in the Asia Pacific region.

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