GlobalData: Food/beverage companies set sights on Asia's lucrative electronic gaming market, with opportunities rife in China, Japan, South Korea; companies like Coca-Cola are collaborating with top game developers to launch co-branded products, packaging

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September 25, 2023 (press release) –

Food and beverage companies are targeting Asia’s lucrative electronic games (egames) market by rolling out customized functional products and sponsoring esports events in collaboration with leading game developers. Opportunities are rife for such products in China, which by itself is a $50 billion-plus market for mobile, personal computer, console, and cloud gaming software, as well as other booming Asian markets, such as Japan, and South Korea, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Tim Hill, Key Account Director at GlobalData Singapore, comments: “During extended gaming sessions, egamers are prone to consume snacks and drinks to quell hunger pangs, stay hydrated, and thereby play uninterrupted. Food and beverage makers are rolling out premium products targeting this high-spending cohort of avid gamers to cash in on the popularity of gaming. Companies are customizing the recipes with ingredients that boost stamina and mental alertness to allow egamers to extend their sessions and improve their performance. Additionally, they are personalizing offerings for egamer cohorts of different genders, ages, and geographic regions. This personalization feature can appeal to 57% of Asian consumers whose product choices are often or always influenced by how well the product/service is tailored to my needs and personality**.”

Bobby Verghese, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, notes: “Among beverage categories, energy drinks presently dominate the gaming world. Recent product launches targeting avid gamers include Coca-Cola’s Thums Up Charged energy drink unveiled in Vietnam and Cambodia, and Beat The World’s G-Beat energy drink and computer manufacturer Acer’s PredatorShot in Thailand. Coca-Cola claims that Thums Up Charged is infused with vitamin B3, caffeine, and zinc to boost energy. According to the manufacturer, G-Beat is made with natural caffeine and without white sugar and fortified with vitamins A and B to support eyesight and brain functioning. Acer claims that PredatorShot is fortified with vitamin A to boost gamers’ eyesight.”

Hill continues: “Companies are also collaborating with top game developers to launch co-branded products and packaging. For instance, Coca-Cola unveiled a limited-edition Coca-Cola Ultimate Zero Sugar with a special flavor inspired by Riot Games’ hit game, League of Legends. Other recent examples include Mister Potato’s special edition pack for the game, Mobile Legends: Bang; and ZUS Coffee’s limited-edition drink, Velvet Crème Poring Latté, with the theme of the popular mobile game, Ragnarok Origin. Within the foodservice sector, notable examples of egames collaborations include Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza, which rolled out special campaigns in Malaysia in collaboration with a popular mobile game, Genshin Impact.”

Verghese adds: “One of the advantages of targeting egamers is that companies can employ digital and social media marketing to engage the target cohort instead of traditional mass marketing approaches. For instance, Coca-Cola roped in YouTube streamer, Độ Mixi, as the brand ambassador for the launch of its Thums Up Charged energy drink. Similarly, PepsiCo’s Doritos chips brand collaborated with HeartRocker, a leading egaming social media influencer. According to GlobalData’s 2023 consumer survey, 61% of Asian respondents find endorsements by celebrities or organizations an essential or nice-to-have factor, and 66% of respondents said the same for social media recommendations.”

Hill concludes: “Partnerships between egames developers and food & beverage companies can ultimately be beneficial to both parties, enabling them to put their brand’s intellectual property to greater use. Leveraging pop culture and egames can aid food and drinks companies in making their brands more relevant to the emerging Gen Z cohort. Through collaborations with popular food and drinks brands, egames developers and esports organizers benefit from wider exposure and additional revenue streams for their offerings and events.”

* GlobalData Technology Intelligence Center ­– Market Analyzers, accessed in September 2023

** GlobalData Q2 2023 Consumer Survey­ – Asia & Australasia, with 6,438 respondents, published in May 2023

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