Food & Beverage

APAC Outlook’s food and beverage section covers the latest trends and innovations in the industry, from plant-based foods to sustainable packaging.

Our corporate stories showcase the fascinating history of food and beverage production and consumption in the APAC region, highlighting the impact of traditional methods and the transition to more sustainable practices.

Featured executives from companies leading the way in food and beverage innovation, giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and opportunities in this critical industry, and unique insights into the future of food and beverage in APAC.

Follow us on LinkedIn to join in the conversations.

Latest Food & Beverage Corporate Stories

Cult Wines Expands into Asia as it Sees Substantial Growth in Profits

Cult Wines, a specialist in the acquisition and investment management of fine wines, has announced that it is set to open a new office in Hong Kong to take advantage of increasing demand in Asia for investing in fine wine.Cult Wines, which was ranked 40th in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 2015 in the UK, has seen annual profits increase by 105 percent last year. The firm specialises in the procurement, management and eventual successful liquidation of the world’s finest and rare wines.Founded in 2007, Cult Wines has grown to become one of the UK’s largest wine investment companies managing private and trade client portfolios on behalf of more than 1,800 clients across 55 countries. Assets under administration are around £30 million with the firm aiming for sales of around £25 million next year and £50 million by 2020.Cult Wines has seen the rise of new markets such as Hong Kong and China, which have driven growth in the fine wine market in recent years. Of the US$352 million of wine sold at auction in 2014, for example, some US$104 million, or 30 percent, was accounted for by Hong Kong alone. By 2024 it is predicted that China will boast nearly 15,700 ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) and 338 billionaires. It is already the single biggest consumer of luxury goods around the world, accounting for some 29 percent of the global luxury spend and its consumption of wine has been growing by 20 percent annually.Tom Gearing, BBC The Apprentice (2012) finalist and Managing Director

By Editorial Team

First Ever Solar-Powered Tea Plantation in China to be Delivered by Trina Solar

Trina Solar Limited, a global leader in photovoltaic (PV) modules, solutions, and services, has announced an agreement to supply 51MW of its dual glass modules to Yunnan Electric Power Design Institute, a subsidiary of China Energy Engineering Group, and the EPC provider for the agricultural PV power plant project located in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province in China. The plant will be used to power equipment in tea plantations, and will be the first of its kind within China.Jichun Zhang, Deputy General Manager of Yunnan Electric Power Design Institute commented: “We are very pleased to cooperate with Trina Solar, an industry leader with a vision to build a greener world, for a pioneer project in China to put solar power to work on the tea plantations. I believe with Trina Solar's leading technology and highly reliable products, the tea plantations can be more efficient with increasing self-reliance and emitting less pollution.”The agricultural PV project will have the capacity of to deliver 100MW in total. However, phase 1 of the project will shortly begin and see 51MW installed by Trina Solar. Its dual glass frameless PV modules are extremely durable, made with front and back layers of heat-strengthened glass, providing strong protection against environmental factors such as heavy humidity and pesticide use, while maintaining a high rate of sunlight transmission and efficiency. They excel in greenhouse environments, where properly maintaining temperature is crucial to the success of crop growth. Shipments of the modules are expected to complete in Q3 2015.Zhiguo Zhu, COO and President of Module Business Unit of Trina Solar, added: “We are pleased to once again have the

By Editorial Team


Global Brand with Local Reach McThai is rolling out an unrivalled localisation strategy to enhance market saturation Writer: Emily Jarvis Project Manager: Ben WeaverMcDonald’s sells more than 75 hamburgers every second and its famous golden arches are recognised by millions around the globe. As a result of its alignment to global strategy, ‘Plan to Win’, McDonald’s serve 68 million people a day, which equates to around one percent of the world’s population. With more than 35,000 restaurants in 118 countries, the quick service restaurant chain strives to be more than just a restaurant; seeking new ways to fulfil its brand promise of quality, service, cleanliness and value.Employing more than 1.7 million people worldwide, McDonald’s has mastered the quick service and fast food industry with an unparalleled localisation strategy. Nowhere is this truer than Thailand, where the franchise has 202 restaurants, serving more than eight million customers a month.“In line with our local commitment, we have items that are specific to Thailand like the Samurai pork burger, the spicy McWings, the spicy chicken teriyaki and rice, and chilli sauce available as a condiment,” said Hester Chew, Chairman of Executive Committee and CEO of McThai, the sole McDonald’s franchisee in the country.Although some items are localised, McThai’s core products are largely the same internationally and of the same universal quality as you would find in any McDonald’s globally.“McDonald’s has a global supply system. Our french fries are from the US, our cheese is from New Zealand and we have recently been importing beef from Australia. We look at the regional supply

By Editorial Team

McDonald’s Singapore emerges as the “Best of the Best” in Best Employers Singapore 2015

McDonald’s Singapore clinches the “Best of the Best” award in Aon Hewitt Best Employers Singapore 2015 programme.This award recognises the organisation’s capabilities and track record to inspire strong commitment and performance from its people and drive business results through effective people practices.The Aon Hewitt Best Employers Study is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind in Asia Pacific. The study’s research methodology involves a rigorous process, conducted over a nine-month period, and it concludes with a credible list of Best Employers. “Our people are our most important assets hence we have always been committed in giving them the best training, opportunities and environment during their careers with us."This award belongs to the entire McFamily that has stayed inspired and passionate for our business throughout all these years”, said Mr Robert Hunghanfoo, Managing Director, McDonald’s Singapore. 

By Editorial Team

China’s Chocolate Market to Grow to US$4.3 Billion by 2019

Chocolate sales in China should grow to $4.3 billion by 2019, up nearly 60 percent from $2.7 billion in 2014. This huge growth is being driven by demand from the growing urban population, a senior Hershey officer has said. The increase projected by Hershey International president Bert Alfonso reflects the chocolate industry's continued growth in market consumption, despite recent indications of slowing demand in fast-growing Asian markets. Hershey, which has been making chocolate for more than a century, expects to benefit from this demand boom, Alonso said in a webcast heard by Reuters of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference. He projected the company's China sales would grow by 35 percent to $450 million in 2015. Based on that figure, chocolate sales in China made up around 4.5 percent of Hershey's $7.4 billion in total revenue in 2014. The growth comes as Hershey integrates products from its December 2013 acquisition of a majority share in Chinese candy maker Shanghai Golden Monkey Food."Consumers are embracing our brands in China as we outpace category growth. We are excited about the potential for Shanghai Golden Monkey." Alfonso noted that chocolate consumption growth in emerging markets closely tracks GDP growth, and suggested China's increasing urban population would drive chocolate consumption. Expectations of rising chocolate demand drove major companies like Cargill and Olam to expand bean processing operations in fast-growing chocolate consuming regions like Asia, prompting concerns that the market had added too much capacity. Olam has also expressed optimism about growing emerging market chocolate demand, saying late last year after its acquisition of rival Archer Daniels Midland's cocoa

By Editorial Team

China 2014 Trade Surplus Reaches Record High

China's trade surplus soared by almost half last year to a record US$382 billion, the government announced today, but the world's second-largest economy again missed its trade growth target due to weakness overseas. Exports increased 6.1 per cent to US$2.34 trillion in 2014, while imports rose 0.4 per cent to US$1.96 trillion, the General Administration of Customs said on its website. That translated into a trade surplus of US$382.46 billion, the highest ever and a 47.2 per cent increase on 2013. China's huge trade surpluses were long a source of friction between Beijing and Washington, as the workshop of the world pumped out manufactured goods and US debt mounted, but the issue receded in more recent years. Total trade in 2014 rose just 3.4 per cent from the year before, far below authorities' aim of about 7.5 per cent and the third consecutive year the official target has been missed. "The world economy recovered rather slowly and couldn't support China's trade growing at a high speed," said Customs spokesman Zheng Yuesheng. "China's comparative advantage of low costs continued to wane, while investment in China's manufacturing industry from developed economies declined, containing trade (growth)," he added, stressing that foreign-invested companies are responsible for about half the country's exports. Zheng attributed the record surplus to falling international commodity prices which dragged down import values. The trade figures come as China's economy rounds out a disappointing 2014, with growth slowing because of manufacturing weakness, falling property prices and high corporate and local government debt burdens. This prompted the central People's Bank of China (PBoC)

By Editorial Team

China Auto Sales Rise 14% as Foreign Brands Target Small Cities

Passenger-vehicle sales in China rose last month, as foreign automakers stepped up their push into smaller cities with cheaper models in a challenge to local carmakers, Bloomberg reports. Retail deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles climbed 14 percent to 1.47 million units in June, the Passenger Car Association said on its website in early July. For the first six months, sales rose 11 percent to 9.09 million. Foreign automakers are targeting China's smaller cities as the country's major population centres increasingly restrict the number of passenger vehicles to curb pollution and congestion. That's led to the introduction of cheaper models to compete with local carmakers, which have struggled to stem a loss in market share in the world's largest auto market. "Automakers are focusing their product launches on the lower- and mid-end of the market," said Harry Chen, a Shenzhen-based analyst at Guotai Junan Securities Co. Ltd. "When new products come into the market, it stimulates sales." General Motors Co. (GM) introduced the Aveo subcompact sedan last month, while Volkswagen AG started sales of the new Polo compact sedan at the end of May, according to the companies. At a starting price of 73,900 yuan ($12,000), the Aveo is cheaper than BYD Co. (1211)'s G6 sedan and compares with the 68,800 yuan price tag for Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. (175)'s EC7 sedan, according to pricing data from GM and car-shopping website The competition is eating into the market share for Chinese brands. China's local marques accounted for 21.5 percent of industry car sales

By Editorial Team

China Manufacturing Sector Expands for first time in 6 Months

Recent studies have shown that China's manufacturing activity has expanded for the first time in six months in June. The private study adds to the evidence that the world's second-biggest economy is stabilising. The HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose from 49.4 percent recorded in May, to 50.8 percent in June. Exceeding the 50 percent mark indicates expansion from contraction, the study states. As a result of this growth, the Australian dollar rose a quarter of a cent against the US dollar, whilst Asian stocks widened their gains with Australia's benchmark index leading gains by 0.7 percent. The survey also showed an across the board improvement in China's vast factory sector, with most of the 11 sub-indices accelerating from previous months. In recent months, Chinese authorities have rolled out a series of modest economic measures, referred to as a "mini stimulus," to support growth in the world's second-largest economy, which included a cut in the level of reserves for banks that lend to the farming sector and small-and-medium-sized firms. Premier Li Keqiang said last week that China's economy would not suffer a hard landing and would continue to grow at a medium to high pace in the long term without strong stimulus.

By Editorial Team

China and Russia Sign Key Gas Agreement

Russia's state-controlled Gazprom signed a long-awaited megadeal to supply gas to China this week, which could ease the impact of Western sanctions on the country. This deal will see Gazpeom, the world's largest extractor of natural gas, supply 38 billion cubic metres of gas to China annually for 30 years, according to Reuters, under a contract that is valued in excess of $400 billion. The deal was signed with China National Petroleum Corp, which is also state-controlled. Reuters reported that the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping celebrated as they witnessed the deal being signed. The agreement followed a gas summit in China, where Putin was one of the most high-profile guests. China is a highly desirable market for energy suppliers to tap, according to Graham-Wood, founding partner at energy consultancy HydroCarbon Capital, the deal made sense for both China and Gazprom because China's energy demand is rapidly rising, although it remains significantly below the more saturated US market. Gazprom said it would publish further details of the deal shortly.

By Editorial Team

SMC Food 21

Powder-Perfect Manufacturing With expansion on the cards, SMC Food 21 are working to achieve more efficient production of their powder based products Writer Emily Jarvis Project manager Callum Philp Established in 1999, SMC Food 21 Pte Ltd manufacture and expertly blend sugar, milk and cocoa powders for major markets in Japan, Korea, Indonesia and India, supplying some of the top companies in Japan. The abbreviated name stems from the three key ingredients that they process: Sugar, Milk and Cocoa (SMC), with the 21 standing for the 21st Century. Other products in their repertoire include ingredients for the confectionary, ice cream, beverages, bakery and sauce industries to name but a few. With an aim to provide customers with excellent service by supplying quality products and just-in-time delivery at competitive prices, SMC are proud to produce a large selection of honest food goods. Managing Director, My Cheng, told Asia Outlook how the company's mission - "quality Blends for quality Customers" – runs through the very veins of SMC: "As we supply to multinationals, it is crucial that we maintain good relationships with our major suppliers of sugar, milk and cocoa. As a result, we are able to source raw materials from all over the world, with a continued focus on quality for all our customers." With factories in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, SMC are able to produce their goods in the best geographical location possible and are therefore placed to become a very competitive supplier. Currently, the company process 100,000 tonnes of preparations, with a hope to reach

By Editorial Team