Southeast Asia is a melting pot of culture where a smörgåsbord of food abound from delicious local fares to international cuisines from all over the world. While Sweden and Swedish products enjoy a strong brand amidst growing interest through international travels and lifestyle trends, there is room for growth for Swedish food and beverage products.
It is amidst this backdrop that Food Business Days to Singapore was organized during 15 – 16 October 2018 by Business Sweden together with the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore. Between the five companies who were part of this delegation, possibilities were discussed for hundreds of innovative brands and products that could be suitable for the Singaporean market. The Swedish companies gained hands on experience through workshops, sharing sessions, local retailers’ presentations, and matchmaking sessions.
Participating Swedish companies:
- Paulig Group (spices, TexMex) – is the leading Northern European coffee and food company. Currently offers great-tasting products in more than 40 countries. Paulig carries a portfolio that includes strong brands such as Paulig, Santa Maria, Risenta, Gold&Green and Poco Loco. The Group has about 2,000 employees in 13 countries and the net sales for 2017 were 929 million euros.
- Pågen (snacks, bakery products) – is Sweden’s leading bakery. It’s a family business with a baking tradition dating back to 1878. Every day Pågen supplies bread-lovers throughout Europe with Pågen® bread, Gifflar™ and KRISPROLLS®. They have a turnover of SEK 3 billion and roughly 1,500 employees, who bake with love.
- Swe Cheese (hard cheese) – offers dairy products on milk from Swedish cattle. Swe Cheese also distribute a wide range of different cheese brands deriving from all over Scandinavia. The family-owned company has expertise in cheese since over a century.
- Nordic Fine Food (alcoholic beverages) – is a supplier for high quality Nordic food products with more than 500 products available from small and medium enterprises.
- Orkla (potato chips, kids biscuits, ready meals) – is a branded consumer goods company with over 300 brands within its portfolio.
Swedish companies Falbygdens Osteria, Nordic Fine Foods, Orkla, Pågen and Paulig Foods had the opportunity to meet with leading grocery retailers on the market for business discussions in addition to B2B matchmaking with selected importers who might have the opportunity to represent some of their brands on the market. During these days, online grocery retail which is a rapidly growing trend in the Singaporean market was also explored in addition to the opportunities to conduct store checks.
Pitching sessions, product samplings and discussions both serious and light-hearted abound, and during this visit, the companies not only got a taste of the market, they also managed to squeeze in some time to sample the cuisine here as well.
As part of the Food Business Days programme, a Nordic Dinner Reception was hosted by His Excellency Niclas Kvarnström, Ambassador of Sweden to Singapore at his Residence where the community central to the food scene in Singapore had the opportunity to taste ingredients sponsored by Swedish companies incorporated into the specially crafted menu at the buffet dinner put together by chef Risto Nietosjärvi.
With this exchange, we hope to see many more Swedish food and beverage selection in the region, serving up a familiar taste of home to Swedes living in Asia, as well as introducing Swedish flavours to Asian consumers. Further write up on the event can also be found on the two full-page feature in the November – December edition of FoodBiz Asia (www.foodbizasia.com).