KResearch projects that the total value of Thai food and beverage exports for 2020 will stand at USD 24.9 billion, equivalent to growth of 3.0 percent YoY as the COVID-19 crisis has driven up demand for food products among Thailand's trade partners. Moreover, Thai manufacturers have been able to maintain production standards, with livestock (chicken), fruits (fresh/chilled/frozen) and processed food (seafood/vegetables) serving as major drivers of market growth.
For 2021, the challenges of this year will persist, namely concerns regarding global economic conditions, the chance of a COVID-19 resurgence, the continued strengthening of the Baht, and increased shipping costs. Additional factors that must be monitored are the larger quantity of food products which are expected to enter the market and increased weight of portfolio diversification across the region by big businesses; both factors should contribute to growth in Thai food and beverage exports. Preliminarily, Thai food and beverage exports for 2021 are expected to be in the range of USD 25.15 – 26.15 billion, or growth of 1.0 – 5.0 percent YoY. The product categories that are likely to experience continuous growth are livestock (especially chicken products), fruits (fresh/chilled/frozen), food seasonings and herbs. Meanwhile, product categories that may be limited in growth or have a tendency to contract include canned/processed seafood and fishery products.
KResearch perceives that once the COVID-19 crisis has passed, consumers influenced by the changing market conditions will put more emphasis on product quality and standards. Moreover, various trade measures enacted by trade partners to protect their domestic industries would also expedite the necessity for businesses to move towards food products of the future and also in response to lifestyles under the 'new normal' which account for consumers' concerns over hygiene, the environment, society and governance to a greater degree. Products that possess high growth potential are functional foods, organic products, plant/insect-based alternative protein products, prepared food/ready-to-eat, food seasonings and herbs.