ASEAN Focus: Carlsberg Malaysia, probiotic teas, upcycled foods and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Carlsberg Malaysia, probiotic teas, upcycled foods and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus. ©Getty Images
Carlsberg Malaysia, probiotic teas, upcycled foods and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus. ©Getty Images

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Carlsberg Malaysia, probiotic teas, upcycled foods and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus.

Tea with a twist: Curated Culture eyes APAC ‘sports and wellness’ space with probiotic tea products

Singapore-based Curated Culture has big plans to enter the ‘sports and wellness’ space in the APAC region with its probiotic tea products, which the firm has stressed is ‘not kombucha’.

According to the firm’s CEO and Co-Founder Christian Eviston-Pusch, its probiotic teas are the ‘first of its kind’ anywhere and its unique fermentation technology enables the final products to be sugar-free and dairy-free yet chock full of probiotics.

Using their loaf: Collaboration is key to breaking niche for upcycled foods in Asia – Brewerkz, Baker & Cook

Singapore-based companies Brewerkz and Baker & Cook envision upcycled foods to be a major trend in the next few years, with collaboration between F&B manufacturers playing a crucial role in raising awareness and uptake of such products.

Brewerkz and Baker & Cook have partnered up to launch a new beer and sourdough bread made with upcycled materials from each firm. 

Even prior to the pandemic, sustainability has always been on our radar. I was very intrigued by overseas craft breweries that do sourdough upcycling, but could not find someone in Singapore focusing on this. When Brewerkz expressed their interest in expanding their portfolio of sustainable products and approached us, it was a perfect match,”​ Dean Brettschneider, founder of Baker & Cook, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

‘No risk’ of loss: Carlsberg Malaysia plays down impact of Asahi partnership ending

Carlsberg Malaysia believes the end of its exclusive distribution partnership with Asahi is risk-free, and will use the opportunity to double down on its premiumisation strategy.

Carlsberg has held the sole exclusive distribution rights to the Asahi brand in Malaysia for over 10 years, but both brands announced earlier this year that they had mutually agreed not to renew this agreement starting 2024.

“Carlsberg will only be distributing Asahi Super Dry beer until December 31 2023 – we have had a great run, and it is an amicable parting, [but] starting January 1 2024 Asahi will be a competitor and we will treat them respectfully just like we treat every other partner,”​ Carlsberg Malaysia Managing Director Stefano Clini said in response to queries from FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Ethnic essentials: Experimental and hyperlocalised flavours find growing favour amongst ASEAN consumers

The dual flavour trends of experimentation and hyperlocalisation are finding increasing favour amongst consumers in the ASEAN region, requiring food and beverage firms across categories to ramp up innovation.

Hyperlocalisation refers to cuisines that are very specialised to a particular region or demographic, often covering very unique flavours or tastes, such as Jollof rice that originates from West Africa.

In the wake of the pandemic, there was a corresponding rise in consumer interest towards experimental cooking which also improved the recognition and appreciation of such hyperlocalised flavours.

Thailand prepackaged food labelling: New rules proposed for expiry dates and allergen warnings

Thailand could be set to revamp its rules around expiration dates and allergen warnings after regulator Thai Food and Drug Association (FDA) issued draft proposals for prepackaged foods

In lieu with multiple other countries in Asia from Vietnam​ to South Korea​, the Thai food regulatory authority has embarked on a course to improve its labelling regulations to align with international standards.

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