Every year, trends come and go, influencing consumers’ shopping habits – and 2021 was no different. With the Covid-19 pandemic still looming, it comes as no surprise that many top products of 2021 provided solutions to problems caused by the virus.

Items like frozen food and personal health products flew off the shelves. But the real question is – do these products have longevity?

The future is uncertain – every time we make progress, new variants of the virus keep bringing us back. It can be difficult to forecast what and how much you should be stocking at times like these because trends are constantly changing.

This is why we’ve compiled the top products of 2021 that showed the greatest longevity on Dropee, so you know which items to buy that will sell.

Here are the bestselling products from last year and what’s in store for 2022!

Top Products of 2021

Frozen Food

At the top of the bestsellers list in 2021 was the frozen food category. This is not a new trend – frozen food was one of the categories in F&B that saw the most growth since the pandemic started. 

Retailers and consumers today still have to grapple with supply chain disruptions as there is no telling when the virus might strike. If there is an outbreak in the community or one region goes into lockdown, it can set shipments back by several weeks.

As supply shortages remain a threat, frozen food is the safest option for retailers and consumers. Consumers can also save time preparing food. The need to have quick and easy meals at home is the reason products like Kawan Sweet Potato Balls are highly popular.

Frozen food also ensures that F&B sellers always have seasonal ingredients on hand to keep selling products year-round. Products like frozen seasonal fruit were top sellers on Dropee for this reason.

Bottled Water

Shortages of bottled water was a major issue in 2020, back when panic buying was still rampant. But now that things have settled, sales for bottled water remained stable. 

In Malaysia, tap water has to be filtered or boiled for us to safely consume. Filtered or boiled water is served in restaurants and water dispensers are typically provided in offices. However, many consumers are opting for bottled water instead as they are sealed, disposable and limit unnecessary contact with high touchpoints.

At Dropee, different brands of bottled water were among the top products of 2021. This shows that consumers are looking for options and have different preferences for us to cater to. Sales for bottled water will likely last as long as the pandemic does because they give consumers peace of mind in this critical time.

F&B Outlet Supplies

F&B retail was one of the hardest-hit segments last year as the country went in and out of lockdown. But now that consumers are allowed to dine in again, F&B is back in full swing. More food stalls and eateries have opened up – including home businesses transitioning into retail for the first time. 

After three consecutive quarters in a slump, F&B sales finally picked up again in the last few months of 2021. As the industry recovers, there has been an increase in sales for wholesale F&B supplies, especially condiments and takeaway containers.

Kimball’s chilli and barbeque sauces – a staple in eateries – were among the top products of 2021 on Dropee.

Lotus Biscoff

It goes without saying – the Lotus Biscoff is the current ‘in’ flavour. Matcha may have reigned in the past, but the caramelised biscuit has taken over Malaysian cafés and bakeries. The MCO contributed to Lotus Biscoff’s popularity as consumers experimented with the product to make cakes, pastries and more.

Top Products of 2021

Image credit: Inside Scoop

F&B businesses did not miss out either. Many have added Lotus Biscoff-flavoured items to their menu. From Sugar and I’s Lotus Biscoff Bombolinis, Burrow KL’s Lotus Biscoff latte to Inside Scoop’s ice cream cake, the many options available in the market now show that it’s still a fan favourite.

The same is true on Dropee, where Lotus Biscoff biscuits, spread and topping made it to the bestsellers list.

Personal Health

If there is one product category that saw demand skyrocketing, it’s personal health. Products like face masks are mandatory in public. Consumers have generally become more conscious of their health in this crisis, which contributed to the sales of sanitisers, disinfectants and health supplements.

Another top product of 2021 influenced by the pandemic is toilet paper. Even though the Malaysian workforce is allowed to go back to work at full capacity now, many choose to continue working from home, at least partially. With the consumers staying at home, consumer toilet paper is fast selling out instead of commercial ones.

On Dropee, toilet paper was the top product in the personal health category, along with a surface sanitising spray. Offices and consumers working from home need sanitising sprays to ensure a clean working environment and curb the virus’ spread.

What’s in Store for 2022?

Despite the lingering concerns of the pandemic, Malaysia’s retail sales are expected to grow 6% in 2022. With stores, restaurants and entertainment centres slowly reopening, there is an opportunity for businesses to bounce back from a difficult 2021. 

The key is to revisit your assortments and strategies to tally with the current consumer behaviour and preferences – starting with stocking up the right products.

Head to Dropee to stock up on the products your customers want to buy!


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