Gulfood 2018

Halal Taiwanese noodle maker plans extra capacity to drive Asia and Middle East exports

By Lester Wan contact

- Last updated on GMT

PLN is one of only two noodle manufacturers in the world to acquire the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute Level 3 certification.
PLN is one of only two noodle manufacturers in the world to acquire the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute Level 3 certification.
Taiwanese noodle maker PLN Food Co. Ltd., known for its PLN brand of noodles, or Dian Xian Mian in Chinese, is seeking new export markets across Asia and the Middle East for its halal-certified noodles, and is preparing to boost capacity at its factory to meet demand.

PLN’s noodles and products such as dough sheet-based wonton and dumpling skins are already exported to countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, the US, England, Holland, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

But assistant general manager Kaini Pai said there was potential for further growth, and the firm will attending events US in March, Singapore in April and Thailand in May to assess the markets.

“We have to try and taste different things. When we go to other countries we have to visit their markets and see what their flavours are, and so on. We have to do some homework with that,” ​said Pai.

At Gulfood, Pai said that most visitors seemed to like seasoned food and heavy flavours, such as their green curry noodles.

“They like heavier or richer flavours. But people here also like to try new things; anything interesting,” ​she said.

“This is one of the world’s biggest food shows so we wanted to know more people here, not just from Dubai but also from countries in Asia such as Singapore, and to know their tastes and how they feel about our products and flavours.”

Product innovation

At Gulfood, PLN also previewed new flavours of products not yet officially launched in the market. It added four new flavours of pesto, white sauce with mushroom, green curry and tomato sauce to its range of spicy, crispy shallots, cold udon, sesame paste and miso ramen noodles.

Also in the works is laksa-flavoured noodles, which is expected to be tested in the market soon, possibly in Singapore and Thailand.

Kevin Pai, general manager, said all the new flavours are almost ready to be launched.

The 20-year-old company has seen tremendous business growth of about 20-30% in Taiwan in the past year alone.

PLN’s factory in Taoyuan, Taiwan uses the latest automated noodle manufacturing system from Japan, which enables it to freeze its freshly-made noodles at a temperature of -35° C within 8 minutes.

The Individual Quick-Frozen (IQF) method prevents large ice crystals from forming and locks in the best freshness of the noodles yet retains its texture as well.

“We only send or export noodles directly from our factory. We want to control the quality and make sure every one of our product items that goes out is good,” ​said Pai.

PLN will soon be expanding its factory to grow production capacity. The increased supply will be used to support further export to more countries.

Business expansion

PLN initially only made fresh noodles for restaurants and night market vendors in Taiwan but quickly grew and expanded its finished product lines.

Last year, PLN became one of only two noodle manufacturers in the world to acquire the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute Level 3 certification for food safety and quality management.

It also obtained halal certification for its factory and products last September. The certifying authority is the Taiwan Halal Integrity Development Association (THIDA).

PLN was also the first noodle manufacturer in Asia to pass the SGS Cleanroom Cleanliness Inspection in 2016.

“We want our products to be internationally exported so, of course, we need to get more certifications for people to feel safe and comfortable with our products,” ​added Pai.

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