Food and Beverage to Indonesia
Trends and opportunities
With a total population estimated at 264.2 million in 2018, Indonesia is a leading destination for a number of Australian exports (Source: DFAT Indonesia Country Page, August 2020). Indonesia’s young population is projected to drive demand for food products. Increasing incomes and aspiring modern lifestyles have increased the interest in meat, dairy products, and processed foods. This demand has accelerated the expansion of both retail and food service sectors in Indonesia.
Australian foods and beverages are popular with affluent consumers in larger cities who are more familiar with international brands and imported products. Popular Australian products include western snacks and packaged foods such as muesli, granolas, cereals, wine, meat, and dairy. Most tourism-related consumption is centered around Bali but that is expected to expand over time as Indonesia’s tourism sector develops.
Social media and digital promotion is crucial in not only brand building but also consumer education. E-commerce and home delivery services are on the rise with growing consumer interest in food products that support a healthy lifestyle.
Indonesia has a wide range of large-scale local manufacturers, imported products and brands. Competition is strong in most categories and across all price segments.
Australia has a reputation for delivering high quality products, however Australian products are mostly tailored for modern retail channels which remain only a small portion of total Indonesian sales. The price of imported products are unsuited to traditional retail and the burgeoning convenience store sector. In general terms, market awareness of Australian product is limited to key commodities such as beef, and some iconic consumer brands.
All food and drink products must be registered at the Indonesia National Agency of Food and Drug Control (BPOM), the local importer and/or distributor is responsible for the whole process. The length of this process vary, often between six and 12 months in duration.
It is essential to have an up-to-date and in-depth understanding of the procedures and requirements for attaining certificates for food and beverage products entering the market.
Key regulatory issues to be aware of are:
- product registration
- labelling approval
- Halal certification
- import licensing and compliance administration for each shipment
- securing Free Trade Agreement benefits under AANZFTA or IA-CEPA where relevant
The Indonesian market is transitioning to a single national regulatory scheme which will require all relevant products distributed and sold in Indonesia to be halal certified.
The regulator is the Halal Product Assurance Body (BPJPH).
Exporters should confirm that their distributor in Indonesia is communicating with BPJPH on the status and procedure of certification.
Using trade agreements
There are two free trade agreement (FTA) currently in force with Indonesia:
- ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA)
- Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA)
Read about the IA-CEPA on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade FTA portal has information about how to use FTAs and their benefits.
Marketing your products and services
The appointment of a local partner or importer is essential. Reputable importer will be able to supplement knowledge of the feasibility of market entry in the first instance, but also help create a development plan for the product over time. Such partners can register products via BPOM, provide advice on marketing, organize logistics and liaise with the most appropriate retail outlets.
Retailers in Indonesia do not import directly, they work with an established group of specialized Indonesian distributors/importers. Together this distribution chain supplies almost all imported packaged food brands to Indonesian retail.
All products sold through e-commerce platforms must undergo Indonesia’s standard product registration and import licensing processes. While some unregistered products are available through e-commerce platforms, they risk being black-listed by the Indonesian authorities.
It is crucial that exporters:
- Confirm the potential market size for your product and map potential retailers and consumers.
- Appoint the right business partner who has proper business license
- Visit the market on a regular basis, ensure your communication and relationship-building approach aligns with market expectations.
- Prepare comprehensive information packs profiling your company, product specifications, pricing and terms of payment.
- Participate in major trade exhibitions to showcase products/services to relevant audience/buyers.
- Support importer, distributors and retailers with marketing and promotional collateral and spend, and stock for sampling. Be available to meet with retailers and other channel partners alongside your distributor.
- Consider opportunities to tailor the product for the Indonesian market to increase its appeal or the channels for which it may be suitable.
Under the Indonesian system, the local importer or distributor is also responsible for the imported product’s safety.
An archipelago with thousands of islands, freight and transportation can be both complex and expensive. Indonesia has well-developed container ports which can handle cargo efficiently e.g. Jakarta port (Tanjung Priok Port), Surabaya (Tanjung Perak Port), Makassar and Medan.
Managed by the various Indonesia Port Corporations, there are four numbered I through IV, each has jurisdiction over various regions of the country, with I in the west and IV in the east.
Links and industry contacts
Food and beverage-related
Government, business and trade resources for Indonesia
Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade – contributes to Australia's economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they:
- develop international markets
- win productive foreign direct investment
- promote international education
- strengthen Australia's tourism industry
- seek consular and passport services.
Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, Austrade provides information and advice that can help Australian companies reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting. We also administer the Export Market Development Grant Scheme and offer a range of services to Australian exporters in growth and emerging markets.
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