Food from Singapore SMEs head to Jakarta's supermarkets

Over 100 food products from 14 Singapore food & beverage (F&B) companies will be available in three Jakarta supermarkets this year, on the Tasty Singapore Food Aisle.

The project comes from the partnership between International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and The FoodHall, one of Indonesia's largest gourmet supermarkets.

IE Singapore said Friday that it aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the F&B sector gain a foothold in Indonesia's highly competitive retail scene.

Mr Tan Soon Kim, assistant chief executive officer at IE Singapore, said: "Branding and promotion are critical activities for Singapore companies in the consumer sector when venturing overseas. By clustering our F&B companies and working with premium supermarkets to create exclusive shelf space for their products, we are allowing them to collectively market to Indonesian consumers".

He added that the Singapore companies are also being helped in overcoming challenges in identifying retail channels and distributors.

"This will be particularly useful for SMEs that are interested in Indonesia's consumer market but do not have the channels for market entry," Mr Tan said.

Since the soft launch of the food aisle in January 2015, Singapore companies have chalked up a 46 per cent increase in sales.

Nine Singapore companies have had new food products listed in The FoodHall as a result of this promotion. Five of them are new to FoodHall.

Gryphon Tea Company's executive director Lim Tian Wee said it has been present in Indonesia since 2012 and has been successful in penetrating the food service channel.

"I am confident the Tasty Singapore Food Aisle project will give us additional exposure in growth market such as Jakarta," he said.

IE Singapore is also working with Singapore SMEs to help them better understand Indonesia's F&B landscape and business environment, and plan for their market entry.

Missions and export workshops have been held to help these companies develop effective distribution, retail and e-commerce strategies for the market.

Within Asean, Indonesia is the third largest food export market for Singapore.

Singapore F&B exports to Indonesia have grown at a compound annual rate of 11.5 per cent over the past five years, reaching $781.1 million in 2014, IE Singapore said.