With robust growth tipped for Asia, the Singapore F&B industry is about to showcase its innovation to the international market.
Spearheaded by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) and International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), the industry is transforming as manufacturers look toward innovation, growth and internationalisation. At the FoodAsia 2016 exhibition at Singapore Expo from April 12 to 15, homegrown companies will display their creativity and innovation at the Singapore Pavilion, led by SMF. FoodAsia is a part of Food&HotelAsia (FHA), the biennial trade event for the food and hospitality industry.
According to Euromonitor International, Asia’s F&B industry is expected to achieve a turnover of US$3.23 trillion this year, with its expansion forecast to outpace Western Europe and North America. To compete, the Singapore F&B industry is aiming to create long-term value and develop strategies to set it apart from competing nations.
Despite global trade falling last year, Asia’s total trade with the rest of the world in packaged foods attained third spot behind Europe and the Americas. Asia Pacific is also projected to have the second-highest growth rate for packaged foods in the next five years.
“So even with a modest economic outlook, there are pockets of opportunities in the region,” says IE Singapore group director for lifestyle business Lee Yee Fung.
“It is thus imperative for Singapore companies to look beyond our market, innovate and transform their business models in order to sustain future growth. With a strong ecosystem of food companies in place, the Singapore food and beverage industry is at a prime spot to ride this growth trajectory.”
New products to be showcased at FoodAsia range include ready-to-cook meals, chocolates and fish otah. One innovation is the Hargow Crystal Skin frozen retail pack, the first of its kind in the world, developed by Tee Yih Jia Food Manufacturing. The skin used to make hargow (prawn dumpling), is usually hand made with inconsistent quality, and this product cuts food preparation time significantly to greatly benefit restaurant owners and dim sum manufacturers.
Another innovative Singapore company, Tan Seng Kee Foods, uses pasteurisation technology to produce preservative-free noodles with an enhanced shelf life of six months when chilled. And The Factory Chocolat, which makes freeze-dried fruit chocolates, will be unveiling its gourmet range. This company exports to mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. GM Ronald Ng says the trade show is a good platform as it creates export potential for the company’s product.
SMF has several initiatives to help F&B manufacturers create value and export, including the Working-in-Partnership (WIP) Program. This helps food exporters consolidate their efforts through collective branding and directly ship their products to overseas supermarkets.
“SMF helps to make the process easier for our exhibitors at the trade show through a hosted buyers program which brings buyers from all parts of the world to meet the exhibitors directly,” says deputy-president Sunny Koh, who is also chairman of the SMF Food & Beverages Industry Group.
“We are seeing some positive results of food companies’ efforts to expand overseas, especially as the Made in Singapore brand becomes increasingly recognised for food safety and high quality.”
FHA expects to attract more than 65,000 trade attendees from more than 90 countries and regions this year. In collaboration with IE Singapore, SMF will be inviting more than 130 buyers from more than 60 companies across 18 countries and regions to meet the Singapore exhibitors through scheduled business-matching sessions.
With the inaugural edition of ProWine Asia, FHA will occupy the entire 10 halls of Singapore Expo. About 3300 exhibitors from 70 countries and regions will cover 103,000 sqm of exhibition space.
New exhibitors from Singapore this year include Boon Tong Kee, Fraser & Neave, Lam Soon, Owl International, Super Group and Yeo Hiap Seng. For the first time, the exhibition extends to outside halls because of the demand for booths.