Food manufacturing in Singapore is a unique challenge that most other nations do not have. Since 1961, the city-state has ranked last in the world for overall agricultural land per square kilometer. They have ranked last in arable land per hectares since 1981. They have ranked last in per capita agricultural lands per square kilometer since 1961 as well.
Just 0.11% of the labor force in Singapore works within the agricultural sector, according to 2017 figures released by the World Bank. That means a majority of the food industry in Singapore is dedicated to manufacturing and transportation, rather than growing and other forms of production.
This is a challenge which the food industry continues to face. As the population remains centered within its primary urban centers, fewer people are moving out to the arable lands which are available. Vertical urban farming is in its entry-level stages as a segment of the industry. That means the agricultural production within the food industry is not enough to meet the needs of its people.
Important Singapore Food Manufacturing Industry Statistics
#1. The current value of the food and beverages segment in Singapore is $128 million in 2018. That represents a 17.8% increase over figures released for 2017. (Statista)
#2. There are currently 1.5 million users registered by the Singapore food manufacturing industry in 2018. That figure is a 6.5% increase from the year before. (Statista)
#3. The CAGR through 2022 for the industry is expected to be 14.1%. If achieved, this would create a market volume of $216 million for the industry by 2022. (Statista)
#4. User penetration rates for the Singapore food manufacturing industry in 2018 were 25.3%. By 2022, the user penetration rate is expected to reach 30% for the first time. (Statista)
#5. The average per capita revenue generated by the industry was $87.43 in 2018. (Statista)
#6. In 2014, the food manufacturing industry in Singapore contributed S$14.4 billion to the economy. This supported over 296,000 jobs. (Oxford Economics)
#7. Food distribution is the largest segment of the industry, with more than 6,700 retail locations accounting for more than 67% of the contribution to the GDP each year. Food distribution also accounts for 80% of the employment opportunities found in the industry. (Oxford Economics)
#8. Manufacturing, when separated from the overall food industry, creates a S$3.2 billion contribution to the GDP each year, with 38,800 jobs created. (Oxford Economics)
#9. 89% of the taxes paid or collected by the industry are corporation taxes, with the remainder being income tax. In total, employees either paid or collected over S$70 million in tax revenues for the government in 2014. (Oxford Economics)
#10. CPF contributions by employers and employees within the food manufacturing industry totaled S$105 billion in 2014, with 56% of the contributions coming from employees. (Oxford Economics)
#11. The food industry spent S$6.6 billion in goods and services inputs globally in 2014, with 51% of the inputs being imported. That is 4 times the rate of food imports of neighboring countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand. (Oxford Economics)
#12. 20% of the food manufacturers’ supply chain in Singapore is dedicated to the wholesale sector. This is followed by business services (15%), transportation and storage (15%), petroleum (11%), and information/communication (8%). (Oxford Economics)
#13. 36% of the induced employment created by the food manufacturing industry in Singapore is within the recreation and community services segment of the economy. Food service activities (21%) come in second, followed by business services (17%), and retail services (6%). (Oxford Economics)
#14. Singapore is the leading importer of food products in the world today. Over 90% of the food that is available in the country for consumption comes from imports. (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore)
#15. Each year, the Singapore food industry is able to produce about 22,000 tons of vegetables from domestic growth efforts. The population consumed over 524,000 tons of vegetables in total, according to figures released in 2016. (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore)
#16. Agricultural production in Singapore is responsible for just 0.5% of the GDP each year. (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore)
#17. Singapore is a high-income economy, with the per capita GDP at more than $55,150. Growth of GDP averages 2%, while inflation was at -0.5% in 2016. (Development Solutions)
Singapore Food Manufacturing Industry Trends and Analysis
Food safety and transportation will continue to be the leading points of emphasis for the overall food-related industries in Singapore. Manufacturing will continue to be a leading segment of this industry, especially as efforts to improve vertical farming and urban gardening continue.
There will always be an emphasis on food safety because of the imported nature of most food products that are available. Look for manufacturers to incorporate a safety emphasis with their products to compete with imports, bringing domestic agricultural products to the market sooner.
Price will always be a challenge for the industry in Singapore. Imported foods are often cheaper and the quality is often better than what can be domestically manufactured. Consumers in Singapore often opt for higher-priced imported goods from the United States, China, and Malaysia because the foods support their lifestyle habits.
Growth opportunities will be found in future years. It all depends on the success of the agricultural industries to determine the full success that the food manufacturing industry in Singapre will be able to achieve.