, Hong Kong
/Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

Fast-food restaurants could be the gateway for more healthy options in Hong Kong

74% of consumers choose plant-based foods for health reasons.

High prices are deterring consumers from plant-based foods despite the growing emphasis on health driving Hong Kong consumers when purchasing food, a report by Kantar revealed.

53% of consumers are deterred from choosing plant-based foods because of high prices, 32% dislike the taste and texture, and 23% said they find them difficult to find in the market.

“To address these concerns, it is recommended that fast-food restaurants and Hong Kong-style cafes, known for their convenience and affordability, promote plant-based dishes,” Jeff Tsui, Managing Director of Kantar Profiles' division, Greater China said.

Health trends

Kantar’s research revealed that there is mounting interest in vegan seafood, with 90% of consumers interested in considering it in the future. Despite interest, only 10% have purchased this kind of product in the past months.

According to Kantar, the increasing interest is amplified by recent concerns over the safety of seafood consumption due to Japan's discharge of treated radioactive water. The report suggests that the industry should capitalize on this trend and develop unique vegan seafood products and dishes. In the government's recent promotion of the night economy, street food plays a crucial role.

However, most street foods in night markets are high in calories and low in nutritional value, easily leading to weight gain and health issues. Given that maintaining health is a primary reason for choosing plant-based food, the industry could consider offering healthy and low-calorie vegan alternatives at night. The report shows that 94% of consumers are willing to try vegan ready-made meals and snacks, including vegan versions of popular street foods like
hamburgers, deep-fried spring rolls/prawn crackers, siu mai, fish balls, and fried chicken
nuggets and so on.

"Notably, Hong Kong’s dining culture is a blend of Chinese and Western influences, with cha chaan tengs or Hong Kong-style cafes having played a prominent role in shaping the food trend. Despite the rising popularity of cross-border consumption, there remains an opportunity for innovative plant-based dishes that incorporate local flavours to spearhead a fresh wave of healthy eating,” Tsui added.

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