Due to rising vegetarian food prices in line with higher production costs, and floods damaging agricultural crops that are the main ingredients of vegetarian food, especially vegetables and tofu which typically see price hikes during the Kin Jae festival, the number of Bangkok residents participating in this year’s festival would not increase, even though the COVID-19 situation has improved. Additionally, they would reduce their number of days of participation so as to control spending budgets for vegetarian food.
KResearch projects that the volume of vegetarian food consumption is likely to shrink by 6 percent YoY. Meanwhile, vegetarian food prices could rise by 10 percent from the previous year. As a result, Bangkok residents' spending throughout the 2022 Kin Jae festival will amount to THB 3.2 billion, or an increase of 4 percent YoY.
Many Bangkok residents remain cautious about their spending. Thus, the first choice among vegetarians this year is still street vendors – both takeaway and dining at the shops – as they offer vegetarian food at affordable prices with convenient access. Meanwhile, the frequency of service use at vegetarian restaurants and food delivery platforms will tend to increase steadily, due to today's consumer lifestyles and familiarity with quick and convenient services. However, key factors to consider when choosing vegetarian food include taste, price and convenience of purchasing.
Given this, the main challenges for vegetarian food business this year are cost management along with competitive prices, under marketing strategies that motivate consumers to make purchases or use services. Looking ahead, related businesses including vegetarian food, vegan food and alternative proteins will likely enjoy considerable growth even after the Kin Jae festival, as many more new-generation consumers have reduced meat consumption. However, amid volatile production costs, business operators should be prepared to manage raw material costs as well as potential growth in the market, going forward.