TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — With a 2.12% boost in 2020, the output value of Taiwan’s food industry has increased for five consecutive years, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Department of Statistics announced on Wednesday.
The MOEA said it believes the food industry will continue to grow in 2021, as the first half of the year has already shown a 7.8% increase in output value, and the trend to cook at home remains steady. Since the challenges some imported foods face and the rising prices of raw agricultural materials also promotes domestic supply levels and market values, the MOEA said the food industry output value should reach even higher in 2021.
The “other foods” category, which accounted for NT$206 billion (US$7.43 billion), or 44% of the total output value, saw a 2.01% decline, breaking a 17-year positive growth streak. While there has been a decline in tourism-related food industries such as refrigerated foods, baked and cooked foods, and refined tea due to the impact of COVID-19, the loss was partly offset by growth in meals and dishes, health foods, instant noodles as people stocked up.
The biggest contributing factor to 2020’s increase in output value has been the boom in meat processing and preservation, which was the second-largest category that accounted for NT$132 billion, or 28% of the total output value. The 7.43% increase mainly stemmed from consumers choosing to cook at home rather than dining out.
The MOEA also analyzed four development trends in the food industry that have driven innovation and products with higher value.
- Convenience and variety: According to the Department of Statistics, various ready-to-serve products that only require heating up have become popular as the pace of daily life gets busier. Those who often dine out consume a lot of preserved meats such as sausages, bacon, and ham.
- Utility and health: As Taiwan becomes an aged society, citizens have developed a high awareness for health maintenance, leading to the growth of the health foods industry.
- Westernized dining: The demand for dairy products has grown due to the public’s increasing preference for Western cuisine and due to the booming drinks and coffee market.
- Snacks and ice products: In recent years, the market has veered more towards healthy snacks such as dried fruits and nuts. Additionally, with record high temperatures in Taiwan due to global warming, citizens have also consumed more ice-related products than ever.