Brand New: Mondelez Australia, Baladna, Zespri and more big names feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelez Australia, Baladna, Zespri and more big names feature in this edition of Brand New. ©Getty Images
Mondelez Australia, Baladna, Zespri and more big names feature in this edition of Brand New. ©Getty Images

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Mondelez Australia, Baladna, Zespri and more big names feature in this edition of Brand New.

Crazy for crackers: Mondelez Australia’s premium venture prompted by rise of healthier savoury snacks trend

Mondelez Australia is looking to cash in on the rise of healthier savoury snacks in the country via its recent entry into the local premium cracker category, a sector it believes to be leading this trend nationally.

According to the firm’s President for Australia, New Zealand and Japan Darren O’Brien, the crackers industry in Australia is seeing a boost due to the overall rise of healthier savoury snacks trending locally, and consumer demands are getting higher and more varied in terms of quality and taste.

“Consumers in Australia [are] increasingly considering the ingredients and flavours they’re looking for in a savoury snack, [and their] demands are constantly changing,”​ O’Brien told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“[Within this category], we have seen premium crackers lead the way when it comes to meeting [these] evolving demands especially as these are anchored in health and wellness. [This is why] we have chosen to invest in Gourmet Food, as this has given us a significant presence in the premium cracker category [which is crucial for us to] meet consumers’ snacking needs.

Baladna CEO Exclusive Part I: Portfolio innovation and forward planning key to surviving and thriving says dairy giant

Qatar dairy giant Baladna’s CEO Malcolm Jordan has revealed the firm’s secrets to surviving and thriving amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as the early implementation of operational improvements and being quick to innovate in its product portfolio.

Baladna is well-known for helping Qatar achieve dairy self-sufficiency as a country as the nation faced a diplomatic crisis and blockade when its neighbouring countries blocked its access to the outside world over claims of it supporting terrorism activities​. It now not only provides dairy for Qatar, but is one of the biggest dairy firms in the Middle East and exports to several countries too.

Baladna continued its success in its recently-announced Q1 2021 results, revealing a 54% growth year-on-year in net profits to hit QAR44mn, even in the face of reinstated lockdown restrictions in the region.

“One of the key reasons we have managed to achieve this success is due to our product portfolio management – Improving our portfolio has always been a major strategic objective, and in Q1 2021 alone we launched an additional 13 SKUs and grew our product portfolio by 5%,”​ Jordan told FoodNavigator-Asia.

Seeing red: Zespri introduces red kiwifruit for the first time in China to test consumer interest

New Zealand kiwifruit producer Zespri is conducting sales trials in China with its red kiwifruit (Zespri Red) as it seeks to gauge consumer interest.

The variant is the latest from Zespri’s kiwifruit breeding programme in partnership with national science organisation Plant & Food Research.

Zespri Red has a red flesh stemming from its anthocyanin, which is a naturally occurring pigment in the fruit, and has a berry-like flavour.

In China, Zespri Red will be available in limited supply through T-Mall (e-commerce) and Pagoda (fruit shop chain).

Solid gold: Nissin innovates to mark 50th anniversary of Cup Noodle with high-protein products and solidifying powder for leftover soup

Japanese cup noodle pioneer Nissin Food Products has launched a high protein, low carbohydrate range, as well as a solidifying agent for leftover soup in a string of innovations to mark the golden anniversary of its flagship products.

Nissin invented the world’s first cup-type instant noodles (Cup Noodles) in 1971, and one of its latest innovations is Japan’s first high protein and low carbohydrate range called Cup Noodles Pro, available in original or seafood flavours.

Makoto Watanabe, chief of marketing division at Nissin Food Products, explained that the range was created due to growing health consciousness among consumers in Japan.

Recently in Japan, the importance of protein as a nutrient has attracted attention, and the market for protein enriched foods has expanded significantly. In addition, the low-carb market continues to grow year by year​.”

Kicking on: Taiwan’s Kung-Fu Mama eyes UK as next big market after roaring local success with traditional sun-dried noodles

Taiwanese noodles and condiments firm Kung-Fu Mama has its eye on more major supermarkets in the United Kingdom after securing initial listings with Sainsbury’s on the back of booming local success with its traditional sun-dried noodles.

Kung-Fu Mama is well-known as Shuangrenhsu in Taiwan, and has achieved phenomenal levels of success both in retail and food service locally as well as in Hong Kong – At the height of its popularity before the advent of online platforms, there was a six-month waiting list for consumers to receive their orders, and later on the brand also ventured into the restaurants business. 

After these local achievements, company Founder Evelyn Hsu is now looking west to the United Kingdom as the firm’s next major target. 

“Shuangrenhsu doesn’t really roll off the tongue that well in western countries like the UK, which is why we decided to come up with a new name for marketing here – so far it seems to be working well,”​ Hsu told FoodNavigator-Asia​. 

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