Start-up Spotlight: Vitality Foods, East West Brewery, Haofood and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

ANEW, Vitality Foods, East West Brewery and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images
ANEW, Vitality Foods, East West Brewery and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images

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ANEW, Vitality Foods, East West Brewery and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight.

Stock options: Vitality Foods drills down on meaty flavour ‘translation’ to address plant-based gaps

Singapore-based Vitality Foods has developed a range of plant-based stocks to address current flavour-related challenges in the alternative meat industry.

Vitality Foods initially started off with the development of plant-based stock powders to provide healthy nutritional alternatives to elderly consumers, but soon found they could also be used to solve issues faced by the plant-based meat sector.

According to the firm’s Co-Founder and Chef Sowmiya Venkatesan, although plant-based meat alternatives today have grown exponentially over the past few years,, when it comes to getting the flavour right it may be necessary to go back to the basics.

“More often than not, plant-based meat analogue companies are focusing their efforts on getting the texture of their products right in order to mimic meat but when it comes to the flavour aspects they go to major flavour houses and just get something from their libraries to use and then that is their product,”​ she told FoodNavigator-Asia.

Balancing tradition with innovation: Vietnam’s East West Brewery on its strategy to crack country’s emerging craft beer market

Vietnam-based East West Brewery is tapping the traditions of craft beer to grow the category in its home nation, while also seeking to innovate with flavours to appeal to more mature export markets.

The brewery, which has its taproom presence in Ho Chi Minh City and Danang, said that 75% of its consumers are local, while 25% are from international markets mostly via tourism.

Founder and general manager Loc Truong said that the demand for craft beer in Vietnam was mainly driven by more well-travelled local consumers, and demand for high-quality and “good-tasting” beer among its international clientele.

Plant-based and clean label: China’s Haofood targets the increasingly label-sensitive consumer with latest NPD

Chinese firm Haofood says that the convergence of right ingredients with its proprietary tech was key to creating its first clean-label plant-based product - Carefree Pulled Chickless.

It is available via its official WeChat store and direct-to-retail via restaurants serving plant-based foods in China.

Its founder and CEO, Astrid Prajogo, told FoodNavigator-Asia​ what went behind creating its first clean-label product.

A different crunch: Singapore’s Kelly Snacks seeks to raise representation of local snacks on the global stage

Singapore brand Kelly Snacks is aiming to bring its locally flavoured and produced tidbits to overseas markets by this year, following positive responses from international customers.

Fatigued by the snacks available in the market, Serene Heng, founder of Kelly Snacks, began conceptualising the reinvention of traditional local snacks in November 2021.

“As a foodie who is constantly on the prowl for the latest snacks, I thought that a breakthrough was needed in this space. I am a fan of local snacks and always felt that they are underrepresented. There is no lack of local snacks in the market, but why do people mostly end up eating chips? Why do we consume certain local snacks only during Chinese New Year? I believe there is more to snacks than just chips.

“Therefore, I decided to fill the niche and create my own version of artisanal snacks with trendy local flavours,” ​Heng told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Singapore’s Singrow blooms ambitions to build agricultural powerhouse in Thailand with new partnership

Singapore-based agritech firm Singrow is spreading the seeds of its climate-resilient strawberries into Malaysia, Thailand and China markets via franchise farming, while plotting further expansion through new investors and collaborators.

The firm has entered the next phase of expansion with a new indoor vertical farm at Singapore’s Science Park, which will double up as its R&D hub.

In addition, Singrow has signed MOUs with Malaysian company TreeGrow Sdn Bhd and Thai firm PREINO Co., Ltd to bring its proprietary genomics technology and crop innovations to more countries.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia ​at the farm’s opening event, Dr Bao Shengjie, CEO and Chief Scientist at Singrow, said: “PREINO owns a 56 sq km plot of land in southern Thailand, which our technology and know-how can help co-develop it into an agricultural zone or food bank. Our vision is to use it as the base to supply to other markets in future.”

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