Small and medium-sized food companies here will be able to get their new products out in supermarkets faster, under an initiative launched yesterday.
Known as YumSing, the initiative allows the firms to sell, test and fine-tune new products with major supermarket chain FairPrice before marketing them on a larger scale.
It is a collaboration between FairPrice, Enterprise Singapore and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).
Companies do not have to pay product assessment and listing fees. Sales data will also be shared to help them tweak their pricing, packaging and promotion strategies.
They can also tap the expertise of academic staff from NYP's School of Business Management in areas such as marketing, e-commerce and business research.
At the launch, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said such efforts go towards helping local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to conquer markets here and abroad. Mr Chan also sampled locally made food products at the event, held at the FairPrice supermarket in Tampines Mall.
Ms Kee Ai Nah, executive director of Enterprise Singapore's lifestyle and consumer cluster, said new product concepts with no proven track record often face challenges in retailing, possibly due to uncertainty in market receptivity and customer demand.
Six FairPrice stores - at Bukit Timah Plaza, Jem, Rivervale Plaza, Singpost Centre, Sun Plaza and Tampines Mall - will offer space for SMEs to showcase their new products over a period of three months.
The products will also be available on the chain's online portal, FairPrice On, during the trial period.
FairPrice chief executive Seah Kian Peng said the programme "aims to provide these SMEs with a platform to gather customer insights on their products, offer dedicated retail spaces to test new products with the market, and accord special consideration for the listing of their products at our stores".
FairPrice carries more than 4,500 locally made products. It also works with SMEs to produce its own housebrand items.
Six food firms will be taking part in YumSing's first cycle. Among them is Hiap Giap Food, which manufactures and supplies traditional dry Asian noodles and dim sum skin to hawkers, foodcourts and restaurants. It is displaying its oriental crispy noodle and oriental hotpot noodle products under The Noodle Factory brand.
Mr Clement Chong, sales executive at the firm, said YumSing gives SMEs "a short cut" to get its new products listed. "We now get more exposure by having our products at these supermarkets with high human traffic, and it is definitely easier to reach our consumers."