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: From expansion to green set-ups, food services industry road map helps S'pore firms chart growth

From automation to going green to job redesign and expanding overseas, several Singapore-based companies have kick-started plans to transform their businesses in alignment with the Food Services Industry Transformation Map 2025 announced by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong on Thursday (May 19).

These firms have also embraced strategies, which include digitalisation and automation, set out in the 2016 version of the road map when it was launched.

Mr Bean

Mr Bean, which sells soya-based products, will be setting up a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility by 2025 to support its expansion plans.

The Senoko set-up will be a green facility geared towards sustainability efforts, such as soya-waste treatment and wastewater recycling. Enterprise Singapore is working closely with Mr Bean to see how the facility can be supported.

The company is also looking to launch a new app in the fourth quarter of this year that includes functions for customers to pre-order and pick up their products. The app will incorporate a loyalty programme, where customers can accumulate points and redeem them.

Going digital will also allow the firm to gain insights into customer profiles and better target its marketing.

Commonwealth Capital

Investment firm Commonwealth Capital, whose food and beverage (F&B) portfolio includes brands such as Pastamania, Swissbake and The Soup Spoon, operates an integrated food manufacturing and logistics set-up that includes a central bakery, meat processing facility and central kitchen.

Through its subsidiary, Zac Meat, the company has automated the processing and marination of meat, which is then supplied to brands under its portfolio, as well as to local and international F&B chains.

Zac Meat is also working closely with the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre led by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, to adopt robotic solutions in order to save on manpower costs.

Select Group

Major food service operator Select Group, which has more than 100 F&B outlets in Singapore and overseas, including brands such as Chinese restaurant Peach Garden and themed foodcourt Singapore Food Street, worked to develop a line of ready-to-eat products under its Taste Asia line.

The meals, developed through its subsidiary RM Food Manufacturing, have a shelf life of up to a year.

Since 2019, Select's revenue for its Taste Asia line has seen a year-on-year growth of about 20 per cent over the last two years.

RM Food plans to export the meals to new overseas markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.

Katrina Group

Katrina Group, which owns and operates 35 restaurants in Singapore under eight different F&B brands such as Bali Thai and So Pho, tapped the Career Conversion Programme for Food Services Assistants to redesign jobs.

The company is upskilling 18 servers in areas such as digitalisation, customer service and food preparation, following the implementation of a digital ordering system in November 2021 that reduced the need for servers to manually take orders.


Healthy food chain SaladStop opened its first cloud kitchen in Katong in 2020 to fulfil delivery orders and has expanded regionally to Indonesia. Cloud kitchens are typically set up for the purpose of preparing food for only delivery or takeout.

It has 25 physical outlets and seven cloud kitchens in Indonesia, and intends to open 10 more cloud kitchens there in the next two years.

Chang Cheng Group

Traditional mixed rice stall operator Chang Cheng Group invested in an automated central kitchen in 2017.

The kitchen is now responsible for supplying close to 160 food stalls in about 25 coffee shops. It has also allowed the group to save an estimated 1,100 man hours a day, leading to a 13 per cent savings in business costs and a 60 per cent improvement in productivity.

French Food Factory

French Food Factory, which started in 2007 as a cafe operator of the brand name Saybons, embarked on a project to expand its ready-to-eat product range and extend the shelf life of its products to more than 14 days.

Its ready-to-eat product sales increased by close to five times last year. The company also plans to expand its business beyond Singapore.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.