December 2014


Welcome to the sixth issue of the USAPEEC ASEAN Regional Office.

The newsletter seeks to provide readers with useful product and major market information for institutional and consumer users of U.S. poultry. Readers will find in every issue a variety of general market information, program activities as well as useful product information.

This month, we take a look at several market perspectives in the individual ASEAN countries.


  • Christmas dinners and roast turkey takeaways
  • Sri Lanka offers new market opportunities
  • Vietnam fast becoming major U.S. poultry market
  • The modern retail market is expanding in Myanmar
  • Consumers in ASEAN warming up to consumption of turkey



Additional Market Information Available

We have updated our website to include more information on market reports and export documentation guidelines.

You can visit our ASEAN website at:




Christmas dinners and roast turkey takeaways in greater demand in the ASEAN region

During the month of December, an increasing number of food and beverage outlets and supermarket stores are offering oven-roasted whole turkeys for takeaway in the ASEAN region. Almost all hotels and leading restaurants offer turkey as part of their Christmas dinner takeaway packages which will include all or part of the following items: ham, sausages, pork ribs, smoked salmon, roast beef, salads and wines.

For decades, major supermarket chains in Singapore offer Christmas dinner packages regularly for customers to place advance orders and self-collect at selected outlets. 

This widespread practice of Christmas dinner takeaways embodies the increased participation by the younger generation in Christmas festivities and cuisines. Even in smaller markets like Sri Lanka, hotels have expressed keen interest in offering the sale of roasted whole turkeys for takeaways during the December festive period



Roast turkey for takeaway orders


Sri Lanka offers new market opportunities

Sri Lanka, an independent island republic of 20.5 million people located off the southeast coast of India, offers wide investment and trading opportunities. Since the cessation of hostilities in 2009, the government of Sri Lanka has actively encouraged foreign investments in five economic areas: port, aviation, commerce, energy, tourism and hospitality industry.

Over the next three years, 10 new five-star hotels will be built and completed in Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. Two integrated resorts including casinos will also be completed in the same period. Major fast food chains established in the country include Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut.

GDP for the current year is estimated to be at $67 billion and the per capita income is at $3280. The Government of Sri Lanka projects a 7.8 per cent growth for the whole of 2014.  While there are stiff market barriers erected against some agricultural products (including imported frozen whole chicken and chicken parts), a number of consumer oriented products are freely allowed in.

Turkey, duck, confectionery, snack foods, beverages, frozen foods including fries and fresh temperate climatic fruit are allowed market access. There is a growing demand for mechanically separated meat as ingredients for food manufacturers making sausages, patties, spring rolls and meat balls.



 A supermarket in Sri Lanka


Vietnam fast becoming major U.S. poultry market

In recent years, Vietnam has become a major market for imported frozen chicken products. It is by far the largest market in the ASEAN region for imported poultry.

What are the factors that contribute to this big appetite for imported poultry?

Besides the fact that local production has been hit by sporadic outbreaks of  avian flu in recent years, the contributory factors include the fast growing consumer incomes, rising tourist arrival, the expansion of western type  restaurants and fast food chains all of which have collectively led to the rapid expansion of U.S. poultry imports.

In 2013, Vietnam imported a total of 59,000 metric tons of frozen poultry, valued at US$67.5 million, directly from the United States. In addition, Vietnam imported an even larger volume of frozen poultry from neighbouring Hong Kong. In 2013 Hong Kong exported a total of 397,000 metric tons valued at US$452 million to Vietnam. Almost all of Hong Kong shipments to Vietnam are re-exports originating from either Brazil or U.S. since Hong Kong does not produce sufficient domestic poultry meat for exports.



Trade visitors at Food & Hotel Vietnam Show


The modern retail market is expanding in Myanmar

While ninety per cent of consumers in Myanmar still shop in traditional stores, the modern retail store concept is fast gaining acceptance in the country.

Supermarkets employing modern retail formats emerged in the 1990s and rapidly expanded in numbers and geographic coverage over the last 10 years.

The fiscal and economic reforms undertaken by the government of Myanmar in 2011 have encouraged a flood of investments in various economic sectors including the retail food catering, hotel and restaurant industries. In turn it has encouraged the surge of imported high quality food products for rising tourist arrivals and business visitors into the country.

The main distribution channels for imported foods are primarily the modern supermarket chains like Orange, City Mart and Asia Light. Best market opportunities for imported products include non-alcoholic beverages, processed and canned vegetables, canned condense milk, dry milk powder, non-dairy creamers, coffee, fresh fruit and various food preparations.



Modern supermarket in Myanmar


Consumers in ASEAN warming up to turkey consumption

Over the last decade, the turkey is fast gaining acceptance as a regular protein dish. While most of the turkey consumption still takes place during the period spanning Thanksgiving to Christmas, more and more restaurants are offering turkey meat in various cuisines throughout the year.  There has been widespread interest from the hospitality industry as well as retail food sector within the ASEAN region on the use of turkey as a main ingredient in local restaurants. Turkey meat is routinely used as a main ingredient in salads, satay, curries and satay in some of the prominent hotels in the ASEAN region. During the month of December, almost all hotels and leading restaurants regularly offer the roast turkey as part of the dinner buffet or set meal.

USAPEEC Singapore office carried out food safety and nutritional seminars in Vietnam and Philippines. As a reflection of the growing consumer interest in turkey, the USDA office in Bangkok has in recent months worked with a number of restaurants and supermarkets to promote U.S. turkey in various cities in Thailand. At the same time, USAPEEC Singapore also provided a range of point-of-sale materials during the promotions.

Despite the small, individual markets for turkey within the ASEAN region in comparison with other major markets, an advantage that U.S. exporters have discovered is the absence of market barriers for U.S. turkey.

Several countries in the ASEAN region including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have import restrictions against chicken imports but none against turkey. Tariffs still exist for turkey in most markets but no less than that for other consumer-oriented products. In 2013, a total of 2500 metric tons of frozen turkey valued at US$5.7 million were imported into the ASEAN region. Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand are the three largest markets for U.S. turkey with 2013 imports of 863 metric tons, 612 metric tons and 527 metric tons respectively.


Turkey promoted in major supermarket chain in Thailand

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