Japan’s largest rice firm and Singapore’s BreadTalk in $3m ingredients joint venture

By Lester Wan contact

- Last updated on GMT

BTG-Shinmei, the new joint venture, will be based at BreadTalk IHQ in Singapore. ©BreadTalk, Facebook
BTG-Shinmei, the new joint venture, will be based at BreadTalk IHQ in Singapore. ©BreadTalk, Facebook
Japan’s largest rice exporter Shinmei Co. Ltd. has secured a deal to supply ingredients and raw materials to Singapore F&B firm BreadTalk Group Ltd. under a $3m joint venture.

The agreement marks Shinmei’s first foray into the Singapore market, and is the first such partnership for the BreadTalk Group. The newly-incorporated BTG-Shinmei Venture Pte Ltd will be 66% owned by BreadTalk’s wholly-owned subsidiary Together Inc. and 34% by Shinmei.

The agreement outlines two key areas of “strategic partnership”​ — trading, and food and beverage.

BTG-Shinmei will oversee sourcing, procurement and supply of key raw materials and ingredients, including but not limited to flour, rice, sugar, dairy, seafood, and product packaging to support the F&B operations of BreadTalk’s group of companies globally. The company may also potentially source and supply to third parties in the future.

Under the F&B aspect, BTG-Shinmei aims to leverage the BreadTalk Group’s regional network to deliver new food concepts. Similarly, the BreadTalk Group can utilise Shinmei’s supply chain infrastructure and support.

Mitsuo Fujio, president of Shinmei, said: “They (BreadTalk Group) are renowned globally for their product creativity and versatility in business development. Coupled with Shinmei’s 115 years’ experience in sourcing and procuring quality soft commodities and food products, we are excited to embark on this journey together.”

The location of the new BTG-Shinmei company has been listed as being at the BreadTalk IHQ building in Singapore.

Based in Kobe, the Shinmei Corporation specialises in the trading of rice, wheat and wheat flour, and also deals in sugar and dairy. It also owns the Genki Sushi chain of restaurants, and has more than 1,800 employees.

Cost savings

Henry Chu, group CEO of BreadTalk Group, said: “With an annual group-wide purchase value of over $100m globally, we see significant near-term potential for the partnership in delivering economies of scale and cost savings to our core F&B businesses.

“We foresee an achievement of a longer term-value when BTG-Shinmei penetrates the supply chains of our franchisees, other joint venture partners and third-party customers, as well as when it embarks on new F&B concepts.”

Furthermore, very recently, the BreadTalk Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Imagine Properties Pte. Ltd., also signed a joint-venture agreement with Perennial Real Estate Holdings Ltd. for a total capital commitment of $1.2b.

The newly-incorporated company, Perennial HC Holdings Pte. Ltd., will invest in, acquire and develop large-scale healthcare ventures which are connected to high-speed railway stations in China.

The BreadTalk Group said that this wasn’t a change in business focus but that it would explore working with the healthcare players operating within these projects to meet their food and beverage needs.

Founded as a bakery in Singapore, the BreadTalk Group is now a leading F&B and lifestyle group in the Southeast Asian region with bakery, restaurant and food atrium concepts. It has close to 1,000 stores across 17 territories in Asia and the Middle East, with brands such as BreadTalk, Toast Box, Food Republic and Din Tai Fung. Since 2003, it has been listed on the SGX.

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