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Food Empire expands geographical footprint, brings exciting offerings

Company dominates the instant coffee segment in Russia and Ukraine

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2017, 5:54pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 August, 2017, 5:54pm

Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports

A dominant player in eastern Europe’s coffee mix segment, Singapore Exchange-listed Food Empire Holdings – a global branding and manufacturing company specialising in food and beverage (F&B) products – sets its sights on new growth markets, particularly in China, Indochina and Southeast Asia.

Food Empire registered a total revenue of US$242.2 million last year. Through its flagship 3-in-1 coffee brand MacCoffee, it dominates the instant coffee segment in Russia and Ukraine – its largest markets, together comprising roughly 60 per cent of its revenues.

Owing to wider distribution channels and increased advertising and promotional activities, Food Empire’s sales in Indochina surged 36.2 per cent from US$29.4 million in 2015 to US$40.1 million last year.

Food Empire’s products, which include instant beverages, frozen convenience food, confectioneries and snacks, are sold to more than 50 markets such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, China, Indochina, the Middle East, Africa, Mongolia, Europe and the United States.

The group has 24 representative and liaison offices worldwide and operates six manufacturing facilities – two in Malaysia, and one each in Myanmar, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam. It has three production facilities – two in Malaysia and one in India.

“Besides diversifying our geographical footprint and increasing our product range, we are also expanding along the F&B upstream and downstream value chains,” says executive chairman Tan Wang Cheow.

For its upstream activities, Food Empire sells raw ingredients to other food manufacturers. It runs a non-dairy creamer plant and a potato crisps plant in Malaysia, and operates an instant coffee powder plant in India. In 2015, Food Empire forged a joint venture company in Italy that produces and markets capsules for coffee and other beverages.

For its downstream platform, Food Empire, through Hallyu Ventures, injected first tranche investment of US$13.6 million last year for a 39 per cent stake in Caffè Bene, South Korea’s No 1 coffee chain.

Food Empire eyes organic and inorganic growth channels and seeks investor partnerships to help shore up its global expansion strategies.