Did you know Singapore has its own chocolate maker?

FairPrice's Made in Singapore Fair features local goods such as chocolates, healthy food

Few may know that Singapore has had a chocolate manufacturer called Aalst since 2003, or that the country also produces detergent.

To change this, NTUC FairPrice yesterday launched its sixth edition of the Made in Singapore Fair to showcase local goods to shoppers.

All FairPrice stores will feature some 50 locally made products to raise awareness of local goods.

These products include Aalst chocolates, eggs, vegetables, ready- to-eat meals without preservatives, and healthier food such as pizza with a low glycaemic index.

The healthier options also tie in with a national push towards beating diabetes, after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spent a third of his National Day Rally speech last month on the topic.

Mr Tng Ah Yiam, FairPrice's deputy chief executive, said the supermarket giant has about 2,000 Healthier Choice products on its shelves.

Sales promoter Daphne Lee, 52, with a ready-to-eat meal of Yang Zhou fried rice with grilled chicken, one of the locally made products in FairPrice's Made in Singapore Fair.
Sales promoter Daphne Lee, 52, with a ready-to-eat meal of Yang Zhou fried rice with grilled chicken, one of the locally made products in FairPrice’s Made in Singapore Fair. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

He noted that many of the products FairPrice is promoting in the Made in Singapore Fair are certified as Healthier Choice, be they low in sugar, fat or sodium.

  • 50

  • Number of locally made products featured at FairPrice stores as part of the Made In Singapore Fair, to raise awareness among shoppers.

Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Trade and Industry, attended yesterday's launch of the fair at Jem mall in Jurong.

He hoped local shoppers would support these Singapore brands.

"It is by generating some degree of local demand that we keep their businesses sustainable, so that our local producers can actually begin to produce even more to strengthen our food security," he said.

He also urged local companies to use new technologies that can extend their products' shelf lives, so they can export these items.

For example, FairPrice yesterday introduced a line of ready-to-eat meals by Taste Asia. Using blast chill technology, the meals can be kept fresh for one to two weeks without using preservatives.

Account officer Joanna Tan, 58, who sampled the meals, ended up buying three of them.

"(They) tasted pretty good. So I am going to keep these for when I am alone during meals. It's more convenient than going out to buy food," she said.

Alongside the fair's launch, FairPrice announced that it was putting another $1 million into its SME Suppliers Support and Development Programme, which 320 of its suppliers are a part of.

Under this programme, FairPrice pays the suppliers within a shorter time frame so they have better cash flow. Those with payment terms of 60 days and above will have their payment terms shortened by 30 days.

Suppliers who want to introduce new products on FairPrice shelves are also given a 50 per cent discount on the fees.

FairPrice started the programme in 2009 to tide its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) partners through the 2008 global financial crisis, and then brought it back in 2012 during the economic slowdown that year.

Since 2012, the programme has been extended annually.


New ready-to-eat meals showcased at fair. str.sg/4VqN

Correction note: This story has been edited to clarify what FairPrice provides under the SME Suppliers Support and Development Programme. We are sorry for the error. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'Did you know S'pore has its own chocolate maker?'. Subscribe