Singapore creates opportunity for organic products from Peru

Singapore is an island country, with only 701 km2 of land, but with a population of more than 4.5 million. Therefore, Singapore has limited land with less than 2150 hectares for agriculture, or about 3% of the country's land. Almost all food must be imported, either within the region or from Europe and North America.

Consumer demand

This was pointed out by Erick Aponte, PromPerú's commercial advisor in Hong Kong, who said that in the last 10 years, some Singaporean consumers have become interested in healthy foods, especially those with family members suffering from serious illnesses or heart disease. These consumers believe that eating organic foods helps improve health and the immune system.

He pointed out that another group of consumers are expats working in Singapore who had a wellness lifestyle before coming to this country, which includes yoga, meditation and eating healthy foods. Many middle- and upper-income Singaporeans also adopt this lifestyle, expanding markets for healthy organic food.

Familiar groups

The most recent group, perhaps the largest, is young families with children where parents buy organic products for their children in the belief that children will grow up healthy.

In view of the growing market demand, the number of health stores importing organic products began to flourish. They offer functional foods and nutritional supplements.

Organic markets

In the last 4-5 years, supermarkets started to enter organic markets, including large supermarket chains like NTUC FairPrice and Cold Storage.

Zenxin Organic Food, a major Malaysian-based producer of organic fresh produce, sells its products primarily through chains such as Cold Storage and Market Place and has posted over 10% year-on-year growth since 2010.

Healthy habits

Director Tai Seng Yee said the organic market remains niche, despite having existed for more than two decades, and believes this will change. "We believe that more people will adopt healthier lifestyles in the near future and consuming products free of chemicals, toxins and pesticides will be a step towards a more health-conscious lifestyle."

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