Creating Healthy Products and Promoting Healthy Lifestyles in Indonesia

Selasa, 05 Februari 2013 | 10:37

As a developing country with a huge population of 240 million, it is time Indonesia started thinking more about health and wellness. The importance of living a healthy lifestyle must be emphasized in order to prevent the onset of a range of health issues that can be caused by poor eating habits.Current trends in consumer spend allocation in the top 11 categories of fast moving consumer goods, as tracked by Kantar Worldpanel Indonesia, highlights the opportunity for manufacturers to innovate more in the area of health and wellness.

Innovation will ensure that when this trend reaches high demand, manufacturers are already set to ride the momentum.

Manufacturers should also take on the role of aspiring to be game changers in this market, helping to creating the move towards healthier lifestyles by educating consumers and introducing more health and wellness products at affordable prices.

Food and beverages represent nine of the top 11 fast moving consumer goods categories, however there are still limited “healthy options” available among mainstream food and beverage products offered in this country. And when healthy choices are offered, there is relatively little demand for these products from consumers.

Compared to developed countries and even other neighboring developing countries, Indonesia lags behind in terms of offering consumers basic healthy food and beverage options such as low sugar or low fat products. The country also lags behind in educating consumers about the importance of healthy eating habits.

The Health Ministry in Indonesia has done a commendable job in its campaign to promote six months exclusive breastfeeding for babies in order to give them the best nutritional start in life. However, other statistics in this country, such as one showing a rise in childhood diabetes, indicate the need for our government to support more campaigns to promote good nutrition among all segments of the population — both young and old.

There is great potential for manufacturers in Indonesia to take the lead and start innovating in this space. Several years ago, organic fresh food products were nonexistent in this country, but this is no longer the case. A range of organic fresh produce is now available in hypermarkets and supermarkets throughout the country, a testament that consumer preferences in Indonesia are evolving over time.

It may take years to educate consumers, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. And if many parties join in the efforts to educate consumers, this change may not take as long. Here’s to more health and wellness in this country as we kick off to a new year.