Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Interviews in FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal 2018

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. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Top 3 trends for 2019

THE FORECASTS and projections are coming in. This November, Mintel came out with its top three trends for the next year and beyond – an assessment of how sustainability, health and wellness, and convenience continue to influence movements in the F&B industry. While you may already have your own expectations and plans, you would still be interested in the most up-to-date consumer surveys and figures, and how the predictions will play out in different geographic regions.

In recent years, large corporations have shared much clearer sustainability programmes with stakeholders. Having had the most impact on environment, they have been stepping up efforts to meet their goals, and leading the way for other companies to do the same. Mintel reiterates that the goals now are to help achieve a circular food and drink economy by “improving access to recycling, creating products with ingredients that are grown in accordance to regenerative agriculture practices.” 

The food and beverage industry and the beauty and personal care industry are held together by a common thread – that is to provide overall well-being. It’s no surprise that they have been taking cues from each other. In fact Mintel says that F&B healthy ageing product development in 2019 will be inspired by what goes on in the beauty and personal care segment. 

“More food and drink will address longevity-related health concerns, be marketed with positive language that rejects terms like ‘anti-ageing’ for its negative connotations, and appeal across ages,” says Jodie Minotto, Research Manager, Mintel Food and Drink, Asia Pacific.

The third most important trend in 2019 is convenience. While this is truly self-explanatory because as consumers, too, we understand the importance of speed, on-the-go and quick meals, in our busy lives. Jodie Minotto says, “the rising segment of consumers who are on-the-go but want to spend more time a home will increase demand for upscale, ‘speed scratch’ solutions and restaurant-quality, ready-to-consume products. As meal kits and foodservice-inspired beverages lead the way, there will also be more opportunities for brands to develop healthy, flavourful, customisable, and quick premium convenience products for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert occasions.”

What hit me in this prediction is the word “healthy” because convenience foods may not always be the go-to foods if you are looking for something nutrient rich. So, that is something we are all looking forward to.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The promising Middle East market

About four years ago, Alpen Capital forecast the GCC to have 57.6 million consumers by 2019. With water scarce and climate and land attributes adverse to agriculture, the region as we know it has been relying mostly on imported products. In recent years however, local manufacturing has been getting a boost from the availability of technologies, innovative and healthier ingredients as well as more efficient production lines. Such is the thinking behind one of the the region’s major trade shows, Gulfood Manufacturing – and that is to provide local manufacturers with what they need in order to create their own F&B products. This year, the event takes place annually in Dubai, and this year is scheduled on November 6-8.

The October issue of Food Manufacturing Journal – Middle East features some of the companies that will be at this event such as Hydrosol, Palsgaard, Epi Ingredients, Ingredion, Ishida, Sidel, Gebo Cermex, Greatview Packaging, and GEA. 

Open to new flavours

The Middle Eastern palate is inclining toward western flavours. Demand for indulgence and high quality is becoming more evident as income shifts allow purchases of a much wider selection of international brands. 
Ready meals, restaurant food, take-outs, and delivery are taking the place of traditional home-cooking as more women join the workforce; non-alcoholic beverages especially coffees and ready to drink teas are getting a boost with the rise in social drinking, according to market research reports.

Meet them in Gulfood Manufacturing 2018

On-the-go snacking continues to drive sales of bakery products, confectionery, and savoury products. The extruded snack food market alone hit USD1,987 million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD2,555 million in 2023, growing at a CAGR of more than 4%.

Dairy consumption, especially of labneh and yogurt is growing as a result of the markets’ favourable response to new products and flavours. Dairy value sales in the MENA are expected to reach USD40.2 billion in 2021, while the thriving market for olive oil, sunflower, soy and other edible oils, is forecast to reach value sales of USD13.2 billion for the same period.

Demand for halal meat has also increased, with opportunities of growth mainly coming from the frozen processed meat and poultry segments. From a sales value of USD 5.1 billion in 2016, earnings in meat and poultry is projected to grow to USD6.6 billion in 2021.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Meet the experts at the Plastics Applications for Food and Beverage Industry Summit in Manila

Ringier Events will be in Manila, Philippines to hold the Plastics Applications for Food and Beverage Industry Summit from 5-6 November 2018 at the AG New World Manila Bay Hotel. 
With some of the country's leading names in the fields of food, plastics, and packaging joining the conference as speakers, the Summit is ideal for those seeking solutions and innovations, new technology, processes and automation. It is a venue to discuss how deal with plastic waste, food safety, and other industry issues.

At the conference, Undersecretary Dr Rowena Cristina Guevara of the Department of Science and Technology - Packaging Technology Division will present "DOST's Packaging Research Initiatives And Technological Innovations".

Mr Joseph Ross S. Jocson,  President of the Packaging Institute of Philippines shares his insights on "Philippine Packaging Industry Updates and Sustainable Packaging".

Founding President of the Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Material Sustainability (PARMS), Mr Crispian Lao will speak on  "Achieving A Circular Economy Through Recycling."

From the Food Industry Asia,  Policy Director Steven Bartholomeusz will deliver his presentation on "A Data-Driven, Country-Specific & Tailored Approach To Effectively Manage Plastic & Packaging Waste".

Growing market for food and packaging

The Philippines is one of Asia's largest producers of food, with the food processing sector exceeding US$29 billion. Packaging units to be consumed would reach approximately 65.8 billion in 2018, according to reports.

The global F&B industry relies quite heavily on plastic packaging, despite the availability or other materials, for many reasons including production cost and consumer convenience. In 2017, the global plastic packaging market was valued at US$321.40 billion and is expected to reach US$452.24 billion in 2024, according to analyses by Zion Market Research. This reflects a CAGR of 5%. In terms of volume, the market stood at roughly 9,621.11 kilotons in 2017, the firm said. 

The global food and beverage segment accounted for 30% share of the total consumption of the global plastic packaging in 2017. While being the largest segment by application, food and beverage is also be the fastest growing segment. Increasing consumption of dairy is noted to be a major driver and will contribute to higher demand for flexible and rigid plastic packaging. 

Registration is still open for Plastics Applications for Food and Beverage Industry Summit. 

Plastics Applications in Food & Beverage Packaging Summit 2018
Date: 5-6 November 2018
Venue: AG New World Manila Bay Hotel, 588 Pedro Gil St, Ermita, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila, Philippines
Organiser: Ringier Events
Contact: Timothy Bryx
Position: Regional Sales & Marketing Manager
T: +886 4 2329 7318 ext.19

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Did you miss Asia Food and Beverage Summit 2018?

In case you missed the Asia Food and Beverage Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, we've got the highlights and sidelights.

Asia Food and Beverage Summit is organized by Ringier Trade Media with partners the ASEAN Food & Beverage Alliance (AFBA), Food Industry Asia (FIA), the Indonesian Food & Beverage Association (GAPMMI), the Indonesian Packaging Federation (IPF), and the Philippine Association of Food Technologists (PAFT).

Asia Food and Beverage Summit updates industry members on the latest in ingredients, processing, and packaging. In 2019, the event will be held in Indonesia and Vietnam. 
This year, the conference took place at the JS Luwansa Hotel  from 4-5 September 2018, attracting 216 participants interested in food safety, sustainable packaging, new technologies including blockchain, the latest food ingredients, and more.

Read the post-event review: Takeaways from the Asia Food and Beverage Summit

Watch the video for highlights and participants' feedback:  4th Asia Food and Beverage Summit

Here's more good news! Asia Food and Beverage Summit will be held in Vietnam and Indonesia in 2019. We will be posting the latest details soon. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Turnkey solutions for soybean processing

RISING demand for plant-based proteins across the globe puts Yung Soon Lih Food Machine Co., Ltd (YSLFOOD) in a position of strength. For the past 30 years, the company has been manufacturing a diverse range of equipment for processing tofu, soybean milk, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and vegan meat foods. It pioneered the development and production of turnkey solutions for soybean processing lines in Taiwan, and has earned the most local patents. It continues to expand R&D and customisation capabilities as it eyes new markets. Currently it provides equipment and services to manufacturers in over 40 countries in North and South America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia.

Healthy demand for soy
“Since 2000, the global consumption of soybeans has been growing continually, almost doubling in 2016/17. Likewise, this has been matched by the global production of soybeans,” shares company CEO Brian Cheng, who is also supervisor at the Taiwan Food & Pharmaceutical Machinery Manufacturers' Association (TFPMA).

Brian Cheng, CEO of Yung Soon Lih Food Machine Co., Ltd

YSLFOOD is confident in Southeast Asia’s soy market where interest in veganism/vegetarianism is also on the rise.

“With a total population of 645 million and a population growth rate between 0.08% and 1% annually, over six million people are added to Southeast Asia’s population each year. Consumers are becoming more health-conscious, so demand for tofu, soy milk, and soy foods—which are perceived to be healthier—has increased in Southeast Asia,” adds Mr. Cheng.

Hence soybean food manufacturers are expanding their portfolio to include soy and other healthy proteins food. According to United Nations statistics, the region’s vegetarian claims for 2012-2016 increased by 140%.

“Soybeans are increasingly sought after by Southeast Asia’s processed soy milk and tofu industries, in order to assure consistency, quality and high standards of end products for modern retail markets. Similarly, soy food producers employ technology such as ‘YSLFOOD’s unique modulation technology’ to improve the quality and taste of soy milk and tofu.”

The company is also open to building partnerships with manufacturers that wish to upgrade their soy and tofu operations and skills. The most popular turnkey solutions are the Tofu Production Line, Fresh Soymilk Production Line, and Vegan Meat Production Line (Soya Meat Machine).

Soybean processing equipment

Food safety in processing
With consumers now more cautious about the chemicals in food products, manufacturers have to choose their equipment more carefully. Often food processing requires the use of chemical additives. Even in cooking hard tofu for example, makers will add de-foaming agents to remove bubbles that form during cooking. With YSLFOOD’s de-foaming machine, tofu producers don’t have to use de-foaming agents, and thus their product additive-free.

Part of the success of its machinery also lies in the YSLFOOD’s in-depth study of beans. In developing its bean sprout machine, for example, the company discovered a way to produce bean sprouts without having to add chemicals to the plants the way bean sprouts producers would normally do. The company is also teaching producers this technique. Read more

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Industrial sensors for F&B processing

FROM one company built in 1979, Taiwan-based FineTek Co., Ltd has expanded with subsidiaries across the globe, developing industrial sensors and solutions for flow metering, tank gauging systems, automation, and wireless communication for many industries.

For the food and beverage processing sectors, FineTek has been supplying a range of level transmitters, float level switches, and temperature controllers used in different stages of the F&B manufacturing process. The products can be used to achieve process automation and control. For example, in batching systems, its control systems will help manufacturers ensure thorough blending of all dry and wet ingredients, and controllers to measure the level of liquids inside the tank. In raw water treatment, liquid level sensors can monitor and control liquid levels.

The FineTek team, with Chief Marketing Officer Mr Peter Wu standing fifth from left.

FineTek Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Wu sees growing opportunities for its industrial sensors in Asia. Rapid development in the region’s southeast is a boon to automated instrumentation equipment, he said. Rising populations spur demand for food and beverage, one of the biggest markets for the company.

FineTek already cooperates with several multinational companies such as Cargill, Charoen Pokphand, Wilmar, Cheil Jedang, and Ajinomoto,” Mr. Wu said.

Through a merger and acquisition with Mütec GmbH, FineTek has been able to expand its product lines to include solid measurement instruments, specifically continuous inline moisture measuring system, solid mass flow, and signal transmitters.

Recently, FineTek came out with two new products for the food and beverage market, one is a sanitary electromagnetic flow meter made of stainless steel 316L material and lining pfa. The other is a sanitary intelligent level switch with anti sticky (viscous) feature, two outputs, and intelligent foam/ water detector. Read more