Data in Consumer Insights 2013, from the Kantar Worldpanel network, show that FMCG sales in 2012 rose fastest in Vietnam, at 14.8%, with China close behind, registering a 13.5% increase. Thailand, at 11%, was the only other country to see double-digit growth.
The other five countries considered in the panel recorded more modest FMCG growth rates: Taiwan was up 9.2%, India 7.4%, the Philippines 5.3%, Malaysia 5.0% and South Korea 4.1%.
But South Korea saw the sharpest uplift in online shopping: ecommerce in that country is the fastest-growing in the world, with online retailers reporting 35.2% growth during 2012.
Taiwan also experienced significant growth of sales online, up 20%; ecommerce there now holds a 3% share in FMCG. And ecommerce penetration in China was up 7 points to 25%.
Kantar also notes that local supermarkets and hypermarkets are developing fast across the region, with China singled out as having domestic retailers who outperformed international competitors.
In terms of categories, beverages and personal care saw growth above 5% in all countries. In fact, the only fall in sales was a 0.5% drop in the dairy products category in India. But dairy products were among the drivers of growth in half the other countries.
In Vietnam, healthy food and drinks found favour with consumers while in Taiwan, health food supplements, facial care and oral care were growth markets.
In South Korea the cheese and water categories recruited the largest number of buyers, while in India carbonated soft drinks and toothbrushes expanded their clientele base the most.
The single fastest growing category was home care in Vietnam, which leapt 20.5% during the year.
Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by Warc staff