New Food and Drink Trends in Asia

May 17, 2021

The pandemic outbreak changed drastically our lives and created new habits.  Prolonged quarantines pushed people to venture into new hobbies and cooking was on top of the list. The importance of high quality and the origins of food people consume on a daily basis grew in concern and the importance of having a well-balanced diet became a must.

As a result, Asian consumers started to learn more about western food, ingredients, and recipes, increasing the demand for gourmet Italian food. 

Here are the top three food and drink trends to be considered for your internationalisation strategy:



Growth in dairy exports to Asia provides encouraging evidence of how Europeans’ food exporters have embraced market diversification.

The three leading importers of mozzarella in Asia are Japan, South Korea, and China and as a result of the recent pizza chains expansions (Pizza Hut and Marco’s Pizza), it is forecast that the cited countries will import over 250,00 tons of mozzarella by 2023.

In 2019, Italian dairy exports increased by 6.3% reaching a market value of 3 billion euro. According to data reported by the leading Italian association for dairy products Assolatte, national companies export to Asia yearly 30 thousand tons of cheese, accounting for a total value of 200 million euro. The most significant increases were recorded in Indonesia and in South Korea but excellent results were also achieved in China (+5.9%) and Japan (+12.8%).




Asian taste for European wine dates back to the 17th century when Portuguese missionaries brought it as a gift for feudal lords. Currently, Japan is one of the European Union’s top trading partners for wine, importing 2.6 million hectoliters in 2019 (double than in 2013).

In terms of the major European wine exporters to Japan, France takes the top position when it comes to both variety and quantity, closely followed by Italy and Spain that, according to UN Comtrade, together make up for 74% of the total amount supplied. 

The steady increase in export over the course of the past few years has been consistent in the Asian countries and with this kind of encouraging data SME producers looking to enter the Japanese market could see a chance worth taking.




According to the 2020 data survey conducted by Coldiretti, pasta exports boomed worldwide during the pandemic accounting for 3.1 billion euro ( +16% compared to the previous year). Indeed, it is estimated that pasta was the most consumed dish all over the world. Japan increased its import by +16%, China +23%, and Italian pasta brands like Rummo, Molisana, Garofalo, and Divella are now taking advantage of this positive trend to expand all over the APAC region.

In Asian countries, consumers' wealth is increasing, and many are moving towards a more westernised diet, creating opportunities for European high-quality food.



For further insight on Italian businesses in Asia, check out our past articles

If you would like to have strategic advice on how to successfully expand your brand in Asia, email us at for a consultation.



Related posts

Book an introductory call with our Managing Partner

Let’s talk