Singapore-based Food Empire Group expands with coffee and iced tea acquisitions

By Lester Wan contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food Empire acquired an 80% stake in Positive Food Ventures and Brewhouse ice teas, and other coffee acquisitions. ©Brewhouse
Food Empire acquired an 80% stake in Positive Food Ventures and Brewhouse ice teas, and other coffee acquisitions. ©Brewhouse

Related tags: Coffee

Singapore FMCG company Food Empire Group has acquired an 80% stake in India’s Positive Food Ventures and its Brewhouse ice tea business.

Sources such as The Economic Times​ report the deal to be worth Rs40,000,000 (about US$631,000).

The acquisition enables the Singapore-based company to expand its reach and presence in the Indian market, with Brewhouse using the funds to increase production.

Brewhouse was only launched in May 2017. Its ice teas are positioned in the semi-premium category as a natural and healthier alternative, and are claimed to have 40% to 50% fewer calories than carbonated soft drinks and fruit drinks.

Brewhouse was also the first to bring real brewed tea in a bottle to India, not from powdered extracts or concentrates.

Meteoric growth

Founder Siddharth Jain led sales growth to 400% in its second quarter, despite not having invested in marketing and relying on word-of-mouth. Brewhouse teas are available in quick-service restaurant chains such as Burger Singh, Khan Chacha and Pita Pit, as well as select outlets in Delhi and Gurgaon.

"We believe the ice tea category has the potential to reach Rs500 to Rs600 crore (up to US$94.5m) in sales in a few years, within which the low-calorie, real-brewed sub-category can reach more than Rs100 crore (US$15.7m) sales. As the first-mover and market creator of this particular niche, we plan to capture the lion’s share of this volume," ​said Dheeraj Jain, previously chief investor.

Brewhouse has three ice tea flavours, which are mainly sold in and around Delhi. It has one production facility in the city, and discussions and processes are in place to set up two more in Noida and Chennai very soon, through partnerships with third-party manufacturers.

“We want to expand to Bangalore and later Mumbai,” ​said Siddharth.

Food Empire rapidly expanding

In mid-December, Food Empire Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary EpiQ Food Services Pte Ltd also subscribed for 684,000 new shares in Indus Coffee Pvt Ltd for Rs116,280,000 (about US$1.8m).

Indus Coffee is 100% export oriented. Its manufacturing facility near Chennai, India, produces 10 different types and qualities of spray-dried instant coffee and granulated coffee.

And at the end of December, under another wholly-owned subsidiary, Future Investment Holdings, the Group acquired 25% of the enlarged share capital of 101 Caffe S.R.L. for €2.5m (about US$3m).

Based in Milan, Italy, 101 Caffe’s principal business is the sale and distribution of high-quality coffee, including in pods and capsules, through its network of franchise stores.

Food Empire Holdings is listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and is a food and beverage branding and manufacturing company. Its product portfolio includes instant beverages, frozen convenience food, confectionery and snack food.

The Group has nine manufacturing facilities in India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam, and its products are sold to over 50 countries around the world.

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