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New Kantar study reveals Asia’s most game-changing brands

Kantar Worldpanel has just launched its Asia Brand Power 2015, the first study of its kind charting the shift in the competitive landscape of Asia’s FMCG market, where in local brands are asserting their dominance over their global rivals. 

Covering 9 countries, the report features exclusive interviews with CEOs of 11 Asian home-grown giants (Monde Nissin, YFY, Godrej, Ichitan, Aekyung, Mayora, Marico, Rebisco, Vinda, Masan Consumer Corporation and SanQuan Food) and identifies the five common ‘power levers’ that drive their growth.

The research behind the report reveals that while the rise in FMCG consumption across Asian markets is slowing – halving from 10% in 2012/13 to 4.6% in 2014/15 – local brands now attract 74% of total FMCG spend, and grew their sales 8% in the last year compared with 4% for global brand.


Kantar Worldpanel has also identified the top 10 Asian brands that grew their penetration the most within their home market in the last year. These brands gained an average of 5.4 million new shoppers over the year.


The Asia Brand Power 2015 report also highlighted that the power of local brands is strongest in food and beverages categories, where they have claimed 85% of the Asian market through their ability to cater to the local palate.  As a result, they lead in the many categories that are uniquely popular in the region, such as coconut milk, ready-to-drink tea, soymilk, seasonings, table sauces (e.g. fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce) and instant noodles. Biscuits and snacks are also largely dominated by Asian brands.

The same observations are evident in the stories of Filipino brands Great Taste, Monde Nissin and Rebisco, which are all featured in the Asia Brand Power 2015 report. A long-standing brand in the Philippines, Great Taste was the first to launch 3-in-1 coffee mixes locally in 2005. After its successful sales performance in 2014, Kantar Worldpanel named Great Taste the fastest growing brand in its 2015 Brand Footprint study owing to its 32-percent increase in sales. Meanwhile, Monde Nissin was able to reach 98% of Filipino households in 2014 with its Lucky Me! brand. The popular instant noodle emerged as one of the top most chosen and most purchased brands in the Philippines in 2014.

In the Asia Power Brand report, Rebisco, one of the country’s largest biscuit and snack manufacturers, also shared how they ‘Filipinize’ their products based on their understanding of the consumers’ insights and preferences. Because of this, the 50-year-old brand has become a Filipino household favourite.  According to the 2015 Brand Footprint study, Rebisco is the number ten food brand in the country, reaching 75.4% of Filipino households.

Moreover, the Asia Power Brand report identified five (5) ‘power levers’ of growth that were common in all the dominant Asian players featured:

1.     They are masters of metamorphosis: Shifting from manufacturing-led to brand-led innovation, evolving along with consumers and expanding beyond their country of origin.

2.     They have a purpose, and play an active role in society: Respecting and caring for consumers, helping to improve lives and democratising categories.

3.     World-class innovation with a local twist: Recognising that consumers want to move with the times, but without sacrificing traditions.

4.     They digitise and humanise: Applying digital technologies both to create and sell products and to connect with consumers on an emotional level.

5.     Data-led intuition: An instinctive understanding of what will work in the market, combined with ongoing market research that provides unbiased, actionable consumer insights.

Marcy Kou, Kantar Worldpanel’s CEO, Asia, commented: “There are 4.4 billion consumers in Asia. The more of them brands can win as customers, the closer they’ll get to winning the battle for dominance in the FMCG market. This report showcases the Asian players that every ambitious brand should be aware of and inspired to become. Local players are currently winning the game, and we’ve examined the journeys of those that have achieved the most significant sales growth and household penetration in their respective markets. Many have already expanded internationally. These brands come from a variety of sectors, but all are exceptional and should be proud of what they’ve achieved.”

The Asian Brand Power report is a joint initiative between Kantar Worldpanel and Kantar in Asia. It combines insight from a number of sources – including purchase behaviour data from Kantar Worldpanel’s permanent panel, data on 5,200 Asian brands from the Brand Footprint 2015 database, interviews with the CEOs of 11 leading Asian brands and white papers from Kantar companies in Asia.

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