Health

Negative view on carbohydrates slowing Indonesian retail rice growth

16:27 SGT October 16, 2017
Negative
Despite being known as a rice-eating nation, Indonesia’s retail rice market is not moving fast enough.

While Indonesia has long been recognized as a rice-eating nation, new research from global market intelligence agency Mintel reveals that the Indonesian retail rice market is experiencing slowing growth.

According to Mintel Market Sizes, the retail volume of Indonesia’s rice market grew only by 3% in 2016, compared to 2015 when it posted 5% growth. Moreover, Indonesia’s rice market, which grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just 3.5%, in retail volume, between 2012 and 2016, is expected to grow at a mere CAGR of 1.5% from 2017 to 2021.

“In a country where rice is regarded as a main dietary staple, Indonesi is known to be one of the biggest consumers of rice globally,” said Jodie Minotto, research manager, Asia Pacific, Mintel Food and Drink.

Mintel revealed that 64% of Indonesian consumers who avoid carbohydrates believe it is healthier if they do so, while 37% state that their current diet plan does not allow them to include carbohydrates.

“However, our research indicates that the Indonesian retail rice market is currently seeing a slowdown in growth, perhaps due to the current attention given to the high prevalence of diabetes within the country.”

Despite the slowed growth, Indonesia remains one of the world’s highest rice-consuming countries in terms of total market size. Vietnam is the top rice consumer — the average Vietnamese is estimated to consume a whopping 232.5kg of rice (per capita) in 2017; this is followed by Thailand at 163.2kg, China at 119.11kg, Indonesia at 103.02kg, and finally Malaysia at 100.2kg.

INDONESIANS AVOIDING CARBOHYDRATES

Seeking a healthy diet means less carbohydrates for more Indonesians and Mintel found that more than one in five (27%) urban Indonesians are avoiding carbohydrates in 2017, rising to one in three (33%) consumers aged 35 and above.

Mintel revealed that 64% of Indonesian consumers who avoid carbohydrates believe it is healthier if they do so, while 37% state that their current diet plan does not allow them to include carbohydrates.

“In light of the negativity that surrounds rice today, consumers are reacting and an interest in low-carb diets is forming,” Minotto said.

“The glycaemic index (GI) of many popular rice varieties will continue to be an issue as cases of diabetes grow. Rice companies in Indonesia are looking for solutions, and unless lower GI strains of rice are developed and made widely available, rice consumption will likely continue to experience slowing growth.”