Fi Asia Thailand 2019

Thai rice specialist firm MediFoods looks to expand local market after overseas success

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Thailand rice specialist company MediFoods has its eye on local market expansion after a successful run overseas with its rice-based products and ingredients portfolio. ©iStock
Thailand rice specialist company MediFoods has its eye on local market expansion after a successful run overseas with its rice-based products and ingredients portfolio. ©iStock

Related tags: Thailand, Rice

Thailand rice specialist company MediFoods has its eye on local market expansion after a successful run overseas with its rice-based products and ingredients portfolio.

MediFoods specialises in producing rice-based products, spanning those from the ingredients space all through to processed and packaged items. The company’s main business focus has been on exports thus farm but it is now looking at putting more effort into conquering the local market.

“Our main market so far has been Australia, and we have also expanded in the United States and Europe as well as have some presence in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore, but in Thailand we recently to shift our focus back here,”​ MediFoods Marketing Executive Rintabhatr Waratbhuwapas (Amm) told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“Previously we were 100% export-oriented, but this year we have managed to shift some 30% of the business to local.”

Speaking to us during the recent Fi Asia Thailand 2019 show in Bangkok, Amm said that MediFoods based its whole business around rice as it is the ‘main agricultural product of Thailand’​, as well as for its many benefits.

“At MediFoods, our concept is called Rice Republic, where we want to put together our 40 to 50 years of experience with rice together with value-added initiatives in order to deliver the natural high nutrition content of rice to consumers​,” said Amm.

“Amongst these, gamma oryzanol (a rice-derived lipid) is a major active ingredient in rice, which can help to lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, help with brain function, control blood sugar, protect from non-communicable diseases, increase GABA levels for the brain and more.”

MediFoods’ products include traditional rice grains (under the brands hugpun and Red Ant), rice milk (hugpun and Rice Milk), instant cereal drink mix powders (hugpun and VeganPro), rice spreads (VeganPro), rice oils (hugpun) instant porridges (hugpun) and more, as well as various flours, pastes and fillings as ingredients.

“We have also developed a form of rice cream to use as a healthy non-dairy creamer alternative,”​ said Amm.

“Most non-dairy creamers today are made from palm oil, but ours is healthier due as it contains gamma oryzanol.”

Keeping up

In addition, within MediFoods, the free-from concept is considered a major guiding principle for development.

“Our products are gluten-free, allergen-free, dairy and lactose-free, as well as hexane-free for our oils. Many oils have hexane as a by-product due to the normal hot-processing used for extraction, but not ours,”​ said Amm.

“The products are also all clean label when exporting to the United States.”

Sustainability and traceability are also rising areas of focus for the company, based on consumer demands.

“We have found many customers asking for traceability capabilities due to consumer demand to know where the food is from, and have reacted to this by providing a solution via the use of tagging our materials with QR codes to provide high traceability,”​ she added.

“With concerns about non-communicable diseases and glycaemic index on the rise, we are also looking to try and provide more education with regard to the benefits of whole grain rice and gamma oryzanol, so as to promote rice products as a source of good carbohydrates.”

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