Page 22 - Malaysia Food Business Directory 2020/2021
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 Cooking from Scratch
This concern for eating healthily has led to more people cooking their own foods from scratch. The COVID-19 pandemic has only helped bring this trend to the forefront. Cooking from scratch allows people to control what goes into their meals. Some are even resorting to growing their own vegetables, secure in the fact that they are not consuming dangerous chemicals. Countless cooking shows on TV are also fuelling these trends of cooking at home and growing foods in gardens, which incidentally provide an economical solution to the ever-increasing cost of food.
products with no sugar, low sugar and sugar substitutes such as stevia are also increasingly commonplace.
Local Ingredients
With consumers being more wary about what they are putting in their mouths and preferring local produce, more restaurants are sourcing responsibly and offering locally grown and produced, sustainable ingredients. This trend not only serves as an incentive for the local agriculture sector to expand, but also encourages self-sufficiency in a post-COVID-19 world.
Food Delivery
Our increasingly fast-paced lifestyle could mean the proliferation of meal delivery service to homes and offices. Perhaps we got a glimpse of that during the pandemic lockdown. This may be the new norm once movement restrictions are completely lifted, as social distancing is expected to continue for some time. Restaurants would likely have to tweak their delivery offerings to meet customer demands for new items and healthier options.
Zero Waste
Consumers want to play a part in caring for the environment. Saying no to plastic bags, straws and food packaging is only the beginning. Zero-waste foods could be the next big thing. This refers to using every part of a food item, such as eating a vegetable from root to leaf. With eco-warrior millennials setting many of today’s trends, this could take off quickly.
Juice Pairing
The “sober curious” movement is picking up in Western countries. This basically means being more aware of the decision to drink alcohol. This, too, is another trend driven by millennials who are reducing their alcohol consumption in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Taking that into consideration, restaurants are starting to pair juices with meals as a substitute for the traditional wine and food pairings. This is still a new trend in Malaysia but may pick up speed.
Plant-based Foods
Vegetarianism and plant-based foods are nothing new. However, from a fringe position, they are now more mainstream. According to marketing company CatchOn’s Future of Food 2020 report, between 2012 and 2016 in Southeast Asia, there was a 140% increase in new foods and drinks that were labelled as vegetarian, and a whopping 440% increase in foods that were indicated as vegan.
While plant-based milk is available in Malaysia, plant-based meat and fish, which can be found in neighbouring countries such as Singapore, are not common here. Incidentally, this type of plant-based meat is not the soy-based mock meat that Malaysians are familiar with, but rather a new type of plant-based fake meat that is virtually identical in look and taste to the real thing.
This preference for plant-based foods ties in with another trend of consuming wholesome foods as medicine, essentially eating nutritional foods for long-term health benefits instead of weight loss.
Fortifying Foods
Food companies, always with their fingers on the pulse of consumer trends, are taking note and offering healthier options. A growing number of F&B companies are reformulating their offerings by fortifying foods to increase their nutritional value without compromising on taste. Examples of these are products that are now available enriched with oats,

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