Association: M'sian firms can break into US food mart with imaginative marketing strategy

 

NEW YORK: The recent three-day New York Fancy Food Show (NYFFS) showed that with imaginative marketing strategy, Malaysian firms can break into the US market where specialty food products constituted a large segment.

Louise Kramer, the Communications Director of the US Specialty Food Association, the organiser of the NYFFS, told Bernama, Malaysian companies could tap the world’s most attractive food market in value terms.

“Even during recession, American consumers are buying specialty foods. Young consumers are the main drivers of the consumption of specialty food,” she said.

The association said consumers aged between 25 and 44 years were likely to buy specialty foods while 52 per cent purchased them food online.

Specialty food sales in 2015 touched US$120.5 billion (US$1=RM4.00), it said. The NYFFS attracted a large turnout of foreign exhibitors, including from Asia.

While there were large contingents from India, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, there was only one Malaysian exhibitor.

Hua Huat Manufacturing Sdn Bhd of Johor Baru, the only Malaysian company at the show, showcased a wide range of biscuits and chocolate wafers.

Its Export Development and Marketing Manager, Kelvin Ong, told Bernama the company also manufactured snacks and crackers.

“Our major markets are in Asia and West Asia. We also sell to Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Ong said the company also sought official support to sustain the growth momentum in food exports.

“We have witnessed some impressive growth in Malaysia’s food exports. However, this growth momentum could be lost if it is not officially supported by helping exhibitors participate in important foreign trade shows such as the NYFFS,” he said.

He said the Malaysian External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) could provide leads on US potential buyers. “This would make our business easier and also help exports because Matrade, which has offices overseas, would know the overseas markets much better and guide us accordingly,” he said.

Meanwhile, a young Malaysian female chef, Auria Abrahim, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, is creating a stir with her small food-production company—Malaysian Kitchen—offering spicy condiments and coconut jams.

Seremban-born Auria told Bernama currently, she was focussing on producing and selling two spicy Malaysian sambal varieties—hot-chilli sambal and the lime-leaf sambal.

She also sells green and brown kaya in hot-chilly sambal. At the show, she displayed her signature products such as chicken satay, curry laksa and sticky rice with kaya. Auria’s Malaysia Kitchen was launched in 2013. –Bernama

 
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New Sabah Times