Brand New: Carlsberg, Kraft-Heinz, Kirin and more brands feature in our round-up

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Carlsberg, Kraft-Heinz, Kirin and more brands feature in this edition of Brand New. ©Getty Images
Carlsberg, Kraft-Heinz, Kirin and more brands feature in this edition of Brand New. ©Getty Images

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News from Carlsberg, Kraft-Heinz, Kirin and more brands feature in this edition of Brand New.

’10 cents a can’: Carlsberg plugs new alcohol-free range in Singapore as a ‘positive choice’

Carlsberg is striving to debunk the myth that booze- free beer is a poor alternative to regular brews with the launch of its alcohol-free pilsner and wheat beer in Singapore – and is letting consumers buy a sample can for as little as 10 cents.

This is Carlsberg’s first foray into the alcohol-free space in Singapore, launching the products in mid-July at convenience stores, supermarkets and e-commerce platforms nationwide.

According to Olivier Dubost, general manager at Carlsberg Singapore, the launch in the country was met with positive responses. “A lot of consumers were positively surprised that alcohol-free beer tastes just like regular beer, (except) without the alcohol, and we have received very good responses to both variants​.”

On the sauce: Kraft-Heinz says post-COVID-19 home cooking trend will drive growth in Malaysia

F&B conglomerate Kraft-Heinz believes that its sauces are in a key growth position in Malaysia post-COVID-19 due to a rise in the home cooking trend and has streamlined its local distribution operations in an effort to accelerate this trend.

According to data from Statista​, the sauces and condiments market in Malaysia was valued at some RM1.29bn (US$308.8mn) in 2019 – but the general expert opinion is that the recent rise in home cooking​ as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak will result in significant growth for this market this year.

“During COVID-19, we are seeing identical trends across the region, whereby more people are staying at home [leading to a] tendency to cook more and [thus look for] inspiration to cook new dishes,”​ Kraft-Heinz Managing Director of ASEAN, India, HK and APAC Exports Joao Gabriel de Oliveira Leitao told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

One million target: Kirin set to roll out Japan’s first zero-sugar beer in October

Japan’s Kirin Brewery will launch the country’s first zero-sugar beer this October, with ambitious plans to sell 1.2 million boxes or 150,000 hectoliters by the end of 2020.

The new product, marketed as Kirin Ichiban Zero Sugar, is an addition to its existing Kirin Ichiban line. This comes after five years of R&D and more than 350 test prototypes. 

According to the Food Labelling Standards in Japan, products with less than 0.5g of sugar per 100ml can be labelled as zero sugar. The original Kirin Ichiban beer contains 2.6g of sugar per 100ml.

Kirin Holdings spokesperson Ataka Takashima told FoodNavigator-Asia​: “Given that reduced-sugar and zero-sugar beer-like products make up a high proportion of sugar-free products, we saw a higher consumer need for this product.”

Healthier instant noodles: Mr Lee’s touts benefits of freeze-dried tech as it plans Asia advance

New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore are the next top targets for healthier noodle brand Mr Lee’s – with the firm focusing on its freeze-dried manufacturing tech as its USP and new product development tailored to Asian tastes.

The firm is best known for its gluten-free, MSG-free, low-salt, low-fat, premium instant noodles range which has gained significant traction in the UK and US, and the firm’s Founder and CEO Damien Lee already has plans in motion to conquer the Asia Pacific market.

“We’ve been in Australia’s Woolworths and Harris Farms for a while but now just partnered Monde Nissin to expand into independent supermarkets like IGA and Ritchies to expand our reach, and are also looking at entering New Zealand in October, Hong Kong in Q4 and are in discussion for Singapore and Malaysia right now too,”​ Lee told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

PODCAST: Kanguru energy drink creator Dr David Kitchen on juggling a full-time medical career alongside beverage entrepreneurship

In this episode of our Food and Beverage Trailblazers podcast, we speak to Dr David Kitchen, CEO of better-for-you energy drink Kanguru about his experience juggling both a full-time medical career as an ophthalmologist alongside his beverage entrepreneurial venture.

Kanguru is known to stand apart from regular energy drinks due to its no-sugar, anti-crash, all-natural caffeine and botanical- and nutrient-rich formulation – a formulation which Dr Kitchen took four years to develop​. The firm has just expanded manufacturing and operations into South Korea where it intends to compete against traditional local tonic drinks​.

“Being a medical practitioner, I took a scientific, evidence-based approach looking at the ingredients of other energy drinks currently in the market – after doing some analysis of the evidence, I realised that I could create something better than these,”​ Dr Kitchen told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

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