“Our focus is on keeping our products natural, convenient and innovative,” Chiangmai Bioveggie Export Manager Pattraporn Porntaweetat told FoodNavigator-Asia at the recent Fi Asia Thailand 2019 show in Bangkok.
“This has led to our products being very futuristic in nature, so much so that when we first started some eight years ago, consumers here in Thailand couldn’t see the potential or understand the benefits of these, and we had to do a lot of marketing until we overcame this barrier.”
A prime example of the company’s ‘futuristic’ products is its main keystone product called the Bioveggie Vegetable Tablets, which is made out of 12 types of vegetables: Beetroot, red cabbage, parsley, spinach, celery, Japanese pumpkin, carrot, fennel, cherry tomato, broccoli, sweet pepper and bunching onion.
“The Bioveggie tablets are not dietary supplements – they just aim to provide an alternative for consumers who do not like to eat vegetables or have no time to eat vegetables to get the necessary nutrients and fibres from vegetables,” Porntaweetat emphasised.
“The vegetables we use are all 100% locally sourced from the Royal agricultural project conceptualised by our late King which is meant to support local farmers.
“We basically dehydrate the vegetables using our own self-developed innovative technology and put this into tablets for convenient consumption. Everything is 100% natural, there’s nothing artificial, and one serving of Bioveggie has the nutritional value equivalent to one bowl of salad.”
Another of the firm’s own technologies is a freezing tech for fresh lime juice that enables the juice to maintain original colour, taste and smell even upon freezing and storage.
“Our lime juice Manee Manao has a shelf life of up to two years if frozen, and three months after defrosting if kept under normal refrigeration,” said Porntaweetat.
“We squeeze the lime juice and immediately freeze it using our unique technology, so there are also no artificial additives, acids or colouring like many other lime juices locally have.
“The main reason we developed this product was due to the hugely fluctuating prices of lime in Thailand – high prices means consumers cannot buy, whereas low prices means farmers cannot sell. We keep this at one price all year, so as to help both the consumers and the farmers.”
Manee Manao can be found in supermarkets nationwide, whereas Bioveggie can be found in convenience stores, pharmacies and health shops.
Chiangmai Bioveggie also has presence in Korea via its Bioveggie Vegetable Gummy, which is a fruit-flavoured chewable gummy that has powders from five vegetables added to it: Carrot, pumpkin, tomato, celery and beetroot.
“This gummy is targeted at children, as it can be difficult to get them to eat vegetables – Each gummy contains 375mg of vegetable nutrients and we also add vitamin C and fibre,” said Porntaweetat.
The firm is currently only present in Korea outside of Thaland, but is looking to expand further to other countries in the rest of Asia and the Middle East.
“The Middle East is a key target market because meat consumption there is very high but vegetable consumption is low,” she said.
“We also want to go into countries like Singapore, but it’s been difficult especially for the veggie tablets because of their format – although they are not a supplement and just vegetables, it was considered so because they are in tablet form.”
New product development
Moving forth, the firm intends to look at developing products targeting the ageing society.
“These will likely be in the form of instant foods that are easily chewed and swallowed, and will contain all the needed nutrients as well as provide energy, all while being made of 100% natural ingredients,” she said.
“We always innovate based on what we see the problems that consumers are facing are, and then develop products to help solve these challenges.
“For example, where those who don’t eat enough vegetables can get the nutrients easily after eating our Bioveggie, or helping to address the problems that lime farmers and consumers face.”