Hong Kong overtakes Singapore for top spot but Singapore retains first place in Southeast Asia, followed closely by Thailand
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Singapore, 06 May 2014 – People in Singapore enjoy their food and are willing to spend on it. According to a MasterCard survey on consumer dining habits, Singapore diners continue to be one of the top spenders in Asia Pacific when eating out. Despite being pipped by Hong Kong for top spot in the region this year, Singapore remains tops in Southeast Asia with Thailand coming next for both Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia rankings.
The research is based on a survey conducted between October and November 2013 with 7932 respondents aged 18 – 64 in 16 Asia Pacific countries. In Singapore, 400 residents took part. The survey findings are part of MasterCard’s suite of research into Consumer Purchasing Priorities in the Asia Pacific region.
Singapore consumers spent an average of US$198 a month on dining out in 2013. This represents a decline from US$262 a year earlier, however still above the Asia Pacific average spend of US$140. With an average monthly dining out spend of US$218, Hong Kong diners spent 10% more than their Singapore counterparts, while Singapore consumers spent 8.8% more than the average person in Thailand (US$182).
Despite being the top spenders in South East Asia, research data reveals that at least 12% of Singapore respondents plan to dine out at more expensive venues. However the majority of local diners (69%) do not envisage spending more when eating out.
In terms of frequency, eating out continues to be the norm for Singaporeans, with 98% indicating that they have dined at restaurants, food courts/hawker centres and pubs/bars in the last six months. In fact, a quarter of Singapore consumers plan to eat out more in the next six months.
When it comes to exploring new dining options, Singapore consumers tend to firstly depend on word-of-mouth recommendations (49%) from their peers and relatives, followed by online reviews (46%). Locals love their dining deals – over two-thirds revealed that they enquire if any card promotions are available at bill payment, while over a third said that before heading out, they check online for any card promotions (38%) and purchase dining discounts on coupon sites and apps (31%).
“Food is an undeniable passion for Singaporeans, and eating out is part and parcel of everyday life. What’s interesting is that we are seeing greater appreciation for fine dining, new cuisines and differentiated dining experiences – pointing to increasingly sophisticated tastes in Singapore.” said Julienne Loh, general manager, Singapore, MasterCard.
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 Asia Pacific markets (16): Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
 Southeast Asia markets (7): Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar