Based in Selangor, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, the company has since been talking to several potential distributors in the Indonesian capital. A presence there, said BioHaruan operations manager Ahmad Azizi Adnan, would be a launchpad our of Malaysia.
“The Indonesian RTE market has really been growing. Some parties there are very interested in our product,” Azizi said.
“Indonesia is our target market because our prospects wants to focus on Jakarta and its suburbs, places like Tangerang, Bekasi, Depok and Bogor. Together, these areas are about 30m people plus. The whole Malaysian population would fit in there. So it is clear why we would want to focus there.”
The company was established in 2009 as a supplier of snake head fish components that helped wounds heal faster. The following year it moved into instant noodles and porridge in a cup without MSG under its Rezza brand. Then in 2018 it launched Rezza Hot 2 Go ready-to-eat meals packaged in a retort pouch.
The pouches being used were first developed by the United States Army in 1978 and later commercialised in Japan. These can be heated in the microwave or boiled in the bag. The Rezza Hot 2 Go range features biriyani rice, tomato rice, nasi tumis and durian lines, all using basmati rice.
Also marketed are Adventurer Food Bags for climbers and outdoors workers who will struggle to heat the pouches up in conventional ways. The system uses a magnesium heating agent which reacts with water in a bag to immediately heat up the pouch inside. The process is harmless and certified halal, Azizi said.
BioHaruan’s factory in Rawang uses a small retort to sterilise the pouches of bacteria at a rate of 5,000 pieces a day, though the company is hoping to take advantage of state and central government grants to invest in upgrading its equipment.
“We market these all online now and we target climbers, travellers and busy people in Malaysia and we have been talking to the army to supply them with rations but that is something that will take a lot of time,” said Azizi.
“Eventually we want to see our business turning point to go global.”