Asian consumers are driving phenomenal growth and to reach out to them, nimble-footed consumer business giants are investing millions to set up headquarter operations in Singapore, as well as research centres and logistics hubs, creating exciting opportunities for talent.
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Asia’s consumer market will be worth US$56 trillion by 2030, according to projections by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Asian consumers are also projected to drive 80% of the growth in global middle-class spending.
Singapore’s proximity, connectivity, and political neutrality make it an excellent vantage point for corporate decision makers to survey activities across the region. Singapore also offers global standards of living that appeal to professionals who are new to Asia.
Competitive advantages create synergy
As the world’s No. 1 logistics hub (World Bank 2012), with extensive free trade agreements and avoidance of double taxation treaties, Singapore has attracted companies like premium beverage alcohol company Diageo and luxury goods retailer LVMH to set up their Asian logistics hubs that significantly reduce lead times to market.
One of Singapore’s most unique strengths is the combination of a world-class research environment and a diverse, multicultural society. This presents an ideal ‘test-lab’ for Asian-based consumer solutions. Kraft Foods is one of many food companies that have set up a research Centre of Excellence in Singapore.
The world’s biggest brands
The flow of multi-million dollar investments from consumer goods conglomerates into Singapore – in logistic hubs, research centres and headquarter operations is generating career opportunities not just in professional services like finance, law, HR and administration, but also exciting positions in supply chain management, brand marketing and advertising, and research.
The biggest global brands that have set up here include:
- Consumer Care
Unilever, P&G, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal are a few of the global personal care companies with regional bases here. Key brands like Lux, Pond’s and Clear, by Unilever, and premium skincare brand SKII, by P&G, are even globally managed from Singapore. Key corporate decisions with significant impact to the company’s overall worldwide growth are made in Singapore. For example, Unilever’s Asian headquarters oversees Asia, Africa, central and eastern Europe, which accounts for 40% of its worldwide business and is expected to contribute an even more significant percentage in the future.
- Food and Nutrition
Singapore’s innovation-rich biomedical and engineering research expertise offers an edge for food manufacturers who use processed and proprietary ingredients. Nestle, for example, is the world’s largest malt producer and their ‘Protomalt®, a key ingredient for its well-loved Milo beverage, is made here. Renewable food and industrial ingredients giant, Tate and Lyle also built its first Splenda sucralose plant outside the US in Singapore, in 2007.Similarly, Givaudan, IFF, Firmenich, Symrise and Takasago – the world’s top five flavours and fragrances brands have regional research and manufacturing facilities in Singapore.
- Fashion and Hospitality
Seven of the top 15 luxury brands including LVMH, Richemont, Hermes and Rolex are using Singapore to plot their Asian strategy. And, five out of 10 top international hotel groups who operate well-known brands like Starwood, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Four Seasons and Accor have their regional headquarters here.
Read more about Singapore's consumer business industry here.