GlobalData: Indonesia introduces new legislation to regulate production and sale of traditional fermented food/drinks in response to demand for probiotic/prebiotic-rich foods; guidelines will help manufacturers expand their market, particularly in Asia

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July 27, 2023 (press release) –

Indonesia is a treasure trove of traditional fermented food and beverages. The demand for such probiotic/prebiotic-rich foods has risen significantly since the COVID-19 outbreak. In light of this rising demand, the Indonesian food safety agency recently released new legislation for regulating the production and marketing of fermented food and drinks. This will aid local manufacturers in expanding the market for ethnic Indonesian fermented food and drinks domestically and to neighboring Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries. Opportunities are rife for fermented products in the APAC region, where the market for bakery & cereals and dairy & soyfood with probiotics and added fiber/prebiotics was alone worth $11.6 billion in 2022*, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Bobby Verghese, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Indonesian cuisine and culture are ingrained with traditional fermented food and drinks, such as brem (rice wine), dadiah (yogurt), tempe (fermented soybean), tapai (fermented cassava), tempoyak (fermented durian), terasi (fish sauce), and urutan (fermented pork). Besides this, fermented foods from neighboring countries, such as Japan’s natto, China’s kombucha, and Korea’s kimchi have also become a part of Indonesian diets. Indonesians value such products for their rich nutrient and bioactive content, distinctive flavors, and affordability.”

Deepak Nautiyal, Director of Consulting, APAC, GlobalData, notes: “The COVID-19 outbreak stimulated the demand for fermented food and beverages that are perceived to boost gut health and immunity against infections. Yogurt has especially gained traction amid the pandemic, with the overall value sales of probiotic drinking yogurt in Indonesia surging by 19.2% over 2019–21*. This is primarily due to the healthy halo of such products as corroborated by GlobalData’s 2023 consumer survey, wherein 63% of Indonesian respondents said that they perceive probiotics to have a positive effect on their health, and 40% said the same for kombucha**.”

Verghese adds: “However, while homemade indigenous fermented foods have an appealing traditional and naturally healthy aura, the safety of packaged fermented food and drinks is a concern. As a result, Indonesia’s National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) is tightening food safety regulations, particularly for fermented foods. BPOM recently specified the types of microbes that are permitted for use, and the quality and safety standards for sourcing, processing, and using these microbes in fermented food and drinks. According to the new law, tempe must be prepared using a microbial culture comprising acetic acid bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, fungi, and yeast. Similarly, the Japanese dish, natto, must be prepared by using Bacillus substilis bacteria culture. Additionally, kombucha must be prepared by fermenting tea leaves with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast or SCOBY.”

Nautiyal concludes: “The new biotic regulations will improve the consumer safety of processed foods with microbial content. Similar legislation is also expected for regulating the production, sales, and use of probiotic and prebiotic supplements and fortified food and drinks, which are also gaining appeal in Indonesia. The new stringent quality and safety standards can aid local manufacturers in strengthening their domestic base and even exporting ethnic Indonesian fermented packaged foods products to neighboring APAC markets, akin to how Korean companies are promoting kimchi.

“As most Asian countries already have their own food fermentation traditions, it will be easier to gain consumer acceptance for ethnic Indonesian fermented food and beverages. Additionally, the healthy-eating and clean-label trends can stimulate demand for such products in the Oceania region.”

* GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Center ­– Market Analyzers, accessed in July 2023

** GlobalData Q1 2023 Consumer Survey­ – Indonesia, with 532 respondents, published in May 2023

Catch up with Deepak Nautiyal at the FHA Food & Hotel Indonesia tradeshow at the Jakarta International Expo 2023 from 25–28 July 2023

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Dan Rivard
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