Corporate and investor interest in Southeast Asia’s food and beverage (F&B) industry is more intense than ever. A wealth of new products and the increasing penetration of modern retailing have led to double-digit growth rates for numerous F&B categories across Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, retail sales of frozen processed food, cheese and chocolate confectionery grew by 24%, 15% and 13% respectively in 2013.

While opportunities are abound in the region, the landscape is highly competitive, and varies widely across geographies and market segments. In this Executive Insights, Manas Tamotia, Neale Jones and Peter Walter from L.E.K.’s Asia-Pacific practice, identify three key factors or "ingredients" for success: Taste & Innovation, Marketing & Pricing, and Distribution. It is important for brands entering Southeast Asia to understand that success is defined not only by product quality or marketing efforts but also by a brand’s ability to get its product to consumers using an optimal distribution strategy.

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