Fruitful times for corporate world

More workers getting the taste for tropical fruit and coconut water

Some of the over 500 residents who attended a durian party held on July 29, 2013 by the Thomson Hills Neighbourhood Committee.
Some of the over 500 residents who attended a durian party held on July 29, 2013 by the Thomson Hills Neighbourhood Committee.PHOTO: PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION, NEIGHBOURHOOD COMMITTEE COORDINATING UNIT

Tropical fruit seems to be gaining favour on the corporate scene as a healthy alternative for tea breaks and social get-togethers.

Bottled coconut water, for instance, is becoming so popular that some office workers make bulk purchases so they have a ready stockpile of their favourite thirst quencher at their desk.

The manager of a large firm here, who has helped to coordinate such purchases among colleagues in recent months, told The Straits Times that more people are opting for bottled coconut water as a healthier option to soft drinks.

"It has a refreshing taste and can help hydrate us," he said.

The drink has also gained popularity with the sporting fraternity as a natural alternative to conventional sports drinks to help replenish electrolytes after workouts.

Busy office workers who struggle to get enough fruit and vegetables in their diet believe coconut's high levels of potassium and magnesium will benefit them.

Standard Chartered Bank is also dipping its fingers into fruit, or more specifically, the king of fruits.

It is holding its annual durian party in the middle of this week for clients, featuring varieties such as Mao Shan Wang - a top choice for durian aficionados - D24 and Bamboo durian.

More than 1,000kg of durian along with other seasonal fruit such as honey plums, mangosteens, lychees and mangoes will be served, possibly making it the biggest private durian event held here.

There will be live stations offering durian chendol and durian pancake as well.

The two-day event at Clifford Square will see bank staff and clients mingling over sticky fingers in a casual setting.

The Straits Times understands that the bank expects a bigger turnout than last year, with more than 1,000 guests this time.

Corporate durian parties are a growing fad among companies - no great surprise, given that many Singaporeans are die-hard fans of the pungent and creamy fruit.

One of the biggest durian parties here that is open to all is Operation: Durian Mobilisation, an annual durian picnic.

The third edition of the event, co-organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement and food blogger Leslie Tay, was held at the Marine Drive Communal Hall last Saturday.

The durian season, which usually runs from June to August, has seen a bumper crop harvested in Malaysia, so prices have fallen here.

The Mao Shan Wang variety, for instance, can be bought for as low as $9.90 a kg in Geylang, down from the usual $18.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2015, with the headline 'Fruitful times for corporate world'. Print Edition | Subscribe