Businesses in the sector that have been present in Indonesia or are planning to expand their reach into the large consumer base there should stay on top of the latest food trends in the country, understand what they mean to consumers and how other industry players are leveraging these food trends to engage them. From the rise of the Korean food craze, to the TikTok viral food trends that are all the hype today, we’ll dive a little deeper into these trends and understand how consumers are engaging them.
As Indonesian consumers continue to embrace Korean pop culture, we see many other types of Korean foods gaining popularity in Indonesia. Strong interest in foods like ramyeon, gochujang and tteokbokki encouraged the Korean Food Industry Association to create the I Like K-Food zone in 2020. As part of this program, popular Korean foods were exported to Indonesia and sold at several supermarkets in the country. There have also been various food trends originating from Korea that went viral in Indonesia in the past year.
Any fans of Squid Game here? Thanks to the movie, dalgona candy, otherwise known as the honeycomb candy, became an international trend as millions around the world attempted the dalgona challenge, including Indonesians. For the challenge, contestants have to cut out the shape that has been carved on the candy without breaking the rest of it.
Visual insights from Talkwalker show some of the most engaging visual content of Indonesians attempting the dalgona challenge.
Korean garlic cheese bread
Another Korean food trend that went viral in Indonesia is the Korean garlic cheese bread. It is a unique twist on the traditional garlic bread we know, where the bun is stuffed with cream cheese before being brushed generously with garlic butter sauce, and topped with dry parsley flakes.
In the hashtag cloud below, we see some of the top hashtags associated with consumer conversations surrounding Korean garlic cheese bread in Indonesia. In this cloud, the brand #CakenyaHudson stands out as one of the bakeries in the country that sells the pastry and has garnered a significant amount of traction online.
Talkwalker hashtag theme cloud related to the Korean garlic cheese bread in Indonesia.
Another dessert trend that has gone viral in Indonesia is the “es krim geprek”, which literally translates to smashed ice cream. To make the es krim geprek, you would have to prepare a few ice cream cones, place them all upside down in a container, smash them together, and enjoy each bite of ice cream mixed with chunks of wafer. This trend took off on TikTok, where videos uploaded with the hashtag #EskrimGeprek have garnered a total of 24.2 million views.
Rising popularity of food delivery services
Fuelled by the pandemic, the food and groceries delivery sector soared in Indonesia as consumers opted to order in their necessities instead of going out. Over the past 13 months, there have been 701.9K mentions around food delivery services in Indonesia, with some key delivery providers dominating the conversation. Examples of these brands include GoFood, Grab Food, ShopeeFood as well as Kulina.
Talkwalker hashtag theme cloud related to food delivery services in Indonesia.
One of the hashtags that generated a significant amount of online mentions is #BisaGilaGrabFood, a campaign launched by GrabFood Indonesia in June 2021. As part of the campaign, consumers could participate in the BISAGILA CHALLENGE by uploading user generated content, participating in daily quizzes by GrabFood, and then get the chance to win cash prizes as well as GrabFood discounts.
Plant-based food has been gaining popularity in Indonesia as consumers become more conscious of the health and environmental benefits of reducing meat consumption. This is in line with the global trend where 4 in 10 consumers globally today consider themselves part-time vegans. The growing preference towards healthier food alternatives has created an encouraging environment for plant-based food businesses to thrive in the country.
As more plant-based food businesses set up shop in Indonesia, we also see the bigger players offer plant-based alternatives on their menus. For example, IKEA Indonesia collaborated with local Indonesian startup Green Rebel to launch new plant-based dishes in the restaurant section across IKEA Indonesia stores. It is also interesting to see that Asian tastes were taken into consideration in the creation of these dishes, with flavors like Beefless Rendang, Chick’n Katsu and Chick’n Karaage.
As Indonesian consumers continue to develop new habits and food preferences, we will surely see more of these exciting food trends emerge in the coming months and years. Other than leveraging these trends, food businesses in the country need to predict the next trend that will go viral, and find a way to engage and get closer to consumers with the right strategy. For more insights on the food industry, check out the Birdseye Report on Food, where Talkwalker and Twitter deep dived into the trends that are disrupting the status quo globally.