Malaysian yoghurt leader Sunglo sets sights on neighbouring markets in SEA for its first overseas expansion

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Sunglo is looking to expand overseas, with South East Asian markets being its primary target. ©Getty Images
Sunglo is looking to expand overseas, with South East Asian markets being its primary target. ©Getty Images

Related tags Yoghurt Malaysia Dairy

Malaysia-based yoghurt brand Sunglo is looking to expand overseas after leading the category in its domestic market for the past 40 years, with South East Asian countries being its main target markets.

Founded in 1983, Sunglo is today as a household name for yoghurt products in Malaysia.

The brand, owned by Malaysian Yoghurt Company, is available in over 4,000 retail stores and supplied to more than 500 food service partners across the country.

According to Rahmesh Gomez, Managing Director of Malaysian Yoghurt Company, the firm is now looking to venture beyond its shores, with its sights set on Singapore and neighbouring South East Asian (SEA) countries.

“At the moment, most of our sales come from Malaysia. Singapore and other SEA countries are markets with good potential. Generally, yoghurt has a short shelf life of about one to one and a half months. It doesn’t travel very well nor very far.

“Our factory is in Malaysia, and we see a radius around SEA that we can export fresh products to,” ​Gomez told FoodNavigator-Asia​ at FHA-Food & Beverage 2024.

Akin to its operations in Malaysia, the firm is open to selling its products through retailers like supermarkets as well as food service establishments.

Sunglo’s line-up includes yoghurt in different formats and packaging, such as cooking yoghurt, yoghurt pouches, yoghurt smoothies, and probiotic-fortified yoghurts. It also has yoghurt in single-serve cups that are being supplied to airlines and hotels.

While most of its products require refrigeration, Sunglo has developed a range of ambient yoghurt, which could potentially help reduce export costs.

“We have an extensive line-up of yoghurts that cater to different customer segments and people with varying needs. There’s no one product that sells a lot more than others, as the demand is quite evenly spread across different demographics.

“For our ambient yoghurts, we are targeting people who are always on the go and want to bring yoghurt to places where there is no access to a refrigerator. For example, people might want to have it for a hiking trip or sports outing. Another consumer group is mothers, who wish to give their child a yoghurt product that is safe to consume when they are out.”

Boasting an in-house R&D team, Sunglo develops and makes all its products “from scratch”. It also handles packaging, branding and marketing internally.

“We have a constant R&D initiative in the company, and we are always looking at creating new products, with one fresh launch every year​.”

Capitalising on the emerging functional beverages sector, the firm is currently working on a Greek yoghurt drink that claims to have benefits of both probiotics and protein.

“Although our existing portfolio includes beverages, it is the first time we are releasing a high-protein Greek yoghurt drink, so this product is very new for us. It’s not available in supermarkets yet. We are in the process of launching it, and we expect the product to be out within this year,” ​Gomez shared.

Food and Nutra for Kids will be a key topic of focus at Growth Asia Summit 2024 – join us in Singapore to learn about market opportunities and glean insights from major industry experts. Find out more here

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