Trade show boasts treats from New Zealand brands

A range of New Zealand food and beverage (F&B) brands showcased their products here yesterday as part of a strategy to gain a foothold in the regional market.

The event at the Regent Singapore allowed local chefs, buyers and other industry professionals to taste Kiwi treats such as wine and beer, honey, ice cream and lamb, and to interact with key producers.

About half of the 20 exhibitors at the trade show organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise featured young brands looking to expand into Singapore and the region. The remaining exhibitors, such as New Zealand Natural and Moa Brewing Company, are already established here.

Durello, which sells traditional Brazilian snacks, was set up in New Zealand three years ago.

Founder Marcelo Menoita told The Straits Times: "We are a brand with Brazilian flavour, New Zealand ingredients, mother's recipes.

"Singapore is an ideal location for expansion as it is an entry point to Asia, and it has high-end consumers who value quality products like we do."

The one-day event was held in conjunction with a panel discussion focusing on food sustainability and changing consumer demands in Singapore.

Said panellist Regina Moench-Pfanner, who founded sustainable food consultancy ibn360: "We need to tap research and development for sustainable food while putting ourselves in consumers' shoes.

"There is increasing international pressure for healthy, quality foods, and the food industry should look at how to turn this into opportunities."

Ms Hayley Horan, New Zealand's Trade Commissioner for Singapore, noted that her country is a leader in food safety and product traceability and a trusted supplier of high-quality products to Singapore.

Currently, Singapore is New Zealand's eighth-largest target country for food exports.

Most of the new brands that took part in the trade show are keen to champion sustainability, quality, safety and health. Some firms featured non-genetically modified products, animal welfare-centric business models and carbon-free manufacturing processes.

Mr Trent Brock, who owns New Zealand Kettle Korn, said: "Our popcorn is all natural. We use carefully selected, high-quality New Zealand-made ingredients.

"We are lab-certified gluten-, soy-, dairy- and peanut-free. Having quality and being allergy-friendly cost us a little more, but we plan to keep it that way."

Mr Brock plans to expand his business into Singapore within the next few months.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2017, with the headline 'Trade show boasts treats from New Zealand brands'. Print Edition | Subscribe