Myanmar’s F&B is a Promising Market in Southeast Asia

Myanmar's food and beverage sector accounted for 15 percent of Myanmar’s total average consumer spending in recent years

January 2019 , by Naithy Cyriac

Myanmar is considered by many as the last frontier economy in Southeast Asia region, having opened their economy for global market only in 2011 after a few decades. This burgeoning market has garnered attention of both regional and global investors as it offers many untapped opportunities. Myanmar's positive outlook for growth and economic landscape is also reinforced by the forming of democratic government back in 2016.

In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, it is expected that Myanmar will experience a high economic growth. Local conglomerates are flourishing amidst the fast economic development. Foreign direct investment as well as the improvement of many local businesses has led to the growth of Burmese employment and purchasing power. The rise of consumerism has been observed in Myanmar as a trend that will happen in the near future.

Our report, The Next Growth Wave: Rising Consumerism in Myanmar, found that currently around 24% of the Myanmar population earns more than USD 120 a month, as the majority of the population seeks their income from agriculture and other non-industrialized sectors. However, our report projected that this share is expected to increase to 48% by 2022 with the rising of consumerism behaviour help to boost the manufacturing and services sectors. Foreign direct investment into higher productivity sectors also plays crucial roles in the rising of population's earning. 

Average Consumer Spending in MyanmarFollowing the rising consumerism among Myanmar's population, food and beverage sector shows a great promise for all business players. According to our paper, The Next Growth Wave: Rising Consumerism in Myanmar, food and beverage sector accounted for 15 percent of Myanmar's total average consumer spending in recent years. This industry is dominating compared to other industries in Myanmar.

Since opening up their economy in 2011, foreign food and beverage businesses have started to invest and penetrated the Burmese market. Today, there are a number of food and beverage companies that have established their brands in Myanmar. However, existing opportunities are still wide open for future foreign businesses and investors to set up their business in Myanmar market as the demand in this industry is still high.

The recent rapid growth of foreign food beverages being established in major cities is also encouraging the urban population to eat out more frequently. By having its urban population to develop 'eat out' culture like most countries in Southeast Asia region, Myanmar will be able to increase its aggregate consumption which will boost the growth of the country's GDP and economic development.

Following years of economic isolation from other countries, the introduction of new foreign food and beverage brands and products will be positively accepted by the Burmese population, especially those in the urban area. However, local business should not be discouraged as this can be an ideal opportunity to further expand Burmese products to other countries. Thailand, Vietnam, and many other countries in Southeast Asia will be a prominent target market for these new Burmese food and beverages players.

Although Myanmar is a relatively new market in the growing Southeast Asia region, it offers plenty of opportunities in the food and beverage industry as it has also developed a strong culinary culture in itself. The country will definitely be the next lucrative investment destination for food and beverage players across the globe.

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