In just a few weeks we say goodbye to another year of interesting happenings in the world of food and beverage. I'd like to look back at some of the companies we featured earlier this year in the Boardroom Connection section of FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal (FPMJ).
BusinessBests Innovacon Inc.
We started the year's first issue with an interview with Dr Elaine Borazon, a food technologist and lecturer from The University of the Philippines in Diliman, and currently also CEO of BusinessBests Innovacon Inc. which partners with local companies to improve their food safety and food processing practices. She says, "BusinessBests Innovacon Inc. was established in December 2016 out of the desire to assist small and medium businesses transform their workplace from a so-called “backyard” operations to a systematic, regulatory conforming organisation."
Dr Borazon has been a resource speaker at the Asia Food and Beverage Summit for several times now on topics related to food safety and innovation. What she likes about participating in these conferences is that despite the event size - often around 200 delegates attend Ringier's conferences in Asia - there is ample time for serious and intimate networking with people who want to know more about her presentations.
For the March issue of FPMJ, we spoke with Rubiyat CEO Sharan Balani in Indonesia who told us about the growing interest of consumers for healthy food. Hence, Rubiyat makes available a number of imported health food products to Indonesians. We asked Mr Balani how they choose the products, and he said:
"We choose our products based on philosophy, taste and price. In terms of philosophy, we look for brands that present themselves in a way that is in line with our philosophy, that is, healthy and with a big focus on community. Price is straightforward; products need to be affordable for Indonesians. For taste, we generally just work with brands that taste really good. Because we believe that part of eating healthy should also to taste good. You shouldn’t give up taste to eat healthy."
When you talk to F&B manufacturers they all say taste is priority. Simply put, a product does not take off even if it's healthy. Formulating a product to be both good-tasting and healthy is one of challenges for food companies.
|Martabak in different flavours, including yam, coffee and chocolate.|
The Martabak Factory
Being creative or re-creating is a talent that foodies and chefs value. After all, food inspires the creation of more food. That brings me to the martabak, a popular street food in Indonesia that has a crepe-like base topped with something sweet or savoury.
For the May issue, our correspondent in Indonesia helped herself to different martabak. When I was in Jakarta a couple of months ago, I had the chance to taste martabak with a purple yam topping that had the consistency of pie. If it's their comfort food, I can understand why. (See above photo.)
The Martabak Factory in Jakarta aims to elevate the martabak from street food to a more gourmet-like snack, to attract middle and upper class consumers according to owner, Ika Pratiwi.
"Instead of a conventional toppings, we provide unique toppings and modifications such as Nutella, red velvet, tuna mayo, mozzarella, matcha.." The company also accepts made to order shapes like cartoon characters. It has become known for this service as well.
Casa Del Formaggio
From the Philippines, Casa Del Formaggio produces a variety of all-natural cheeses, specifically Italian cheeses, such as mozzarella, burrata, riccota, and many others. The company also makes local kesong puti of course. According to founders, Francesco Patron and wife Isabelle Montelibano-Patron, Casa Del Formaggio was formed after they inherited milking cows from their father. From there the rest is history.