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05 Oct 2019 Updated 06 Mar 2020

Speech by Senior Minister of State for Communications & Information Sim Ann at Snack Genius Finals 2019


Terrence Ho and Stephanie Chan, Founders of IncuBaker Café & Studio,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen.


  1. A very good afternoon to all. I am delighted to be able to join you at the finals of the inaugural Snack Genius 2019 competition today.

  2. Snacking needs no lengthy introduction. People snack for all kinds of reasons – because they feel hungry in between meals, or because they need a boost to their morale, or because it is something that goes well with conversing and relaxing. If you’re like me, you might reach for a snack when you’re about to tackle a piece of work. Come to think of it, we don’t need a reason at all to snack. That’s probably the whole point of snacking.

  3. As a multi-racial, cosmopolitan city-state that is in love with food, Singapore has great potential to develop snacks that are uniquely Singaporean. Our wide-ranging flavour and ingredient choices along with an amalgamation of food heritage and traditions puts us in a good position to create snacks that can cater to a variety of palettes and demographics, not just in Singapore, but also all over the world.

  4. Take for example the addictive Irvins Salted Egg fish skins and potato chips. Many tourists visiting or even transiting in Singapore have come to identify Irvins as a snack that is synonymous with our country. Irvins has since gone on to fly the Singapore flag high in Hong Kong, Macau, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.

  5. Snacking is big business. In 2019, the global revenue of the snack food segment will amount to a whopping US$160 billion. The sector is estimated to grow by 4.5% annually .

  6. Asia is catching up fast. Already, in 2018, the region took four of the top five rankings for global product launches in the salty snack category. Asia is expected to contribute US$37 billion in revenue with a yearly growth of 5.5%.

  7. How then can more of Singapore’s snack food players put themselves on the global map?

  8. Innovation is a crucial ingredient in driving the growth of the snack food segment

  9. Flavour and product innovation is a key ingredient that will propel Singapore’s success in this segment. At the 20th Singapore Food Expo earlier this May, Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing, talked about how Singapore is a nation of innovators. Our strong talent-base and R&D (research and development) capabilities provide food players – from large and small companies, budding startups and even home-prenuers – with an ideal platform to develop and test novel technologies and products.

  10. The food industry, as a whole, will play a crucial role in boosting the country’s standing in innovation. In April 2018, Enterprise Singapore announced FoodInnovate, a multi-agency initiative that will position Singapore as a leading food and nutrition hub in Asia. To achieve this, FoodInnovate brings together the expertise and networks of public and private sector stakeholders to support our food players with the knowledge, resources and tools to pursue and accelerate their innovation efforts.

  11. IncuBaker, the organiser of Snack Genius 2019 is an official resource partner of FoodInnovate. IncuBaker is giving back to the industry by opening up their licensed shared kitchen to food entrepreneurs to develop delicious bakes and food offerings at a larger scale for retail to the public, something which they would likely find challenging to do on their own.

  12. Snack Genius is an extension of IncuBaker’s efforts to scale up smaller food players. In fact, today’s winner will be able to leverage this shared facility to grow their business too. The competition highlights the importance of having a platform that allows for idea exchange, experimentation and collaboration. The idea is simple – giving innovative Singaporeans a chance to realise their dreams to create the next HIT snack.

  13. Snack Genius has also enabled many home-preneurs, students, professionals and chefs to come forward and share their passion for food at a larger platform and with a wider network.

  14. Conclusion

  15. I would like to convey my heartiest congratulations to the Top 10 finalists!

  16. From chocolate chip cookies that use nutritious, protein-dense cricket flour; sea salt pistachio popcorn and maca granola that ideated from a personal journey into traditional Chinese medicine (TCM); cereal prawn kale chips that makes for an addictive and healthier snack choice; and vegan cheese-flavoured tempeh chips. Deciding on the winner must not have been an easy feat for the judges with each sweet and savoury snack entry being so innovative and uniquely Singaporean.

  17. Regardless of the results, I hope that you have found great value in the last six weeks interacting and working alongside like-minded, passionate foodies. Also, taking away valuable knowledge on food packaging, shelf life, taste and nutritional value from the various masterclasses.

  18. I look forward to seeing your creations on our local supermarket and perhaps in retail shops overseas soon. I cannot wait to taste them later!

  19. Thank you.