HO CHI MINH CITY: Sales in the FMCG category are continuing to grow across Asia but a slower rate than before, according to the latest Consumer Insights Asia report from Kantar Worldpanel.

The consumer knowledge business compiled the study, which runs up to Quarter 2 2013, from its regular panel contact with consumers across ten countries in Asia to provide an integrated view of the region.

Not all countries were equally affected by the slowdown, as growth in Indonesian FMCG markets powered ahead 17% from the year before, driven by beverages, up 31%, and personal care, up 28%. The beverage sector was particularly helped by the increased market penetration of ready-to-drink tea, coffee, fruit juice and chocolate drinks.

By contrast, the slowdown was most marked in India, where the overall FMCG sector grew just 4% during the period under review. Some individual segments fared significantly better, however, notably home care, up 11.1%, and dairy products, up 10.4%.

Elsewhere, FMCG growth in China, at 9.4%, was ahead of broader GDP growth of 7.5% over the same period. Beverages, up 12.1% and dairy products, up 11.5%, were the best performing Chinese segments.

The dairy category – yogurts, milk and cheese – was one singled out by Kantar Worldpanel as a “top recruiter” in terms of penetration points growth across Asia.

Other such categories included ice cream, RTD tea (growing fastest in Thailand), cereals, deodorant (Philippines) and wet tissues (South Korea), all of which were expanding their consumer base across Asia.

As to retail, the report noted that hypermarkets had lost share over the past two years in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea, due in part to minimarkets and consumer value stores gaining ground. In the case of Korea, where digital penetration and connection speeds are among the world's highest, a rise in e-commerce was also seen.

Traditional outlets, however, took an increased share in Indonesia and India, accounting for 82% and 77% respectively of the FMCG sectors in those countries. Modern trade was also seen by Kantar to be making slow inroads in the Philippines.

Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by Warc staff