Cambodia: U.S. ice cream chain established in Cambodia
Cold Stone Creamery, a premium U.S. based ice cream restaurant, opens its first outlet in Cambodia in June. The ice cream chain has plans to expand up to 15 outlets over the next 15 years. The Cambodian Operations Manager anticipated that 80% of the customers will be Cambodians while the remaining 20% will consist of expats and tourists.
Laos: Texas Chicken coming soon to Laos
Texas Chicken recently inked a deal with The RMA Group to open seven restaurants in Laos over the next few years. The first outlet is expected to debut in Vientiane by late 2016. The RMA Group currently operates pizza, ice cream, and barbeque restaurants throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Malaysia: Lulu Group to invest US$300 million to set up 10 Hypermarts
UAE-based Lulu Hypermart will be investing RM1.3 billion (US$300 million) to set up 10 hypermarkets in Malaysia over the next five years. They opened their first outlet in the CapSquare, Kuala Lumpur, in mid-June. The remaining stores will be located in Bangi, Kota Baru, Shah Alam, Johor Bahru, Ipoh, Kuala Terengganu, Malacca and Penang.
Thailand: Pop-up restaurants trending in Bangkok
Property consultant JLL said that the growing trend in Bangkok for pop-up restaurants is helping to give a new lease of life to the city’s shopping malls. Pop-up restaurants are temporary eateries. The most well-known pop-up restaurant format in Bangkok is the beer garden that is set up and run during the cooler months of the year. The trend is currently leaning towards pop-up kitchens and food trucks. The Mall Group, one of Bangkok’s largest mall operators, recently introduced pop-up kitchens around its supermarkets where customers can buy fresh produce and have it cooked on site.
Singapore: Singapore and Sri Lanka launched FTA talks
Discussion has commenced for a Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. Singapore companies expressed interest in areas such as urban planning, infrastructure planning and development in the tourism sector, as well as certain manufacturing activities.
Singapore: Growing competition in food delivery market pushed incumbents to innovate
The growing competition in the local food delivery market has compelled existing food delivery companies such as Deliveroo and FoodPanda to innovate to keep ahead. Deliveroo will implement a remote kitchen concept, coined “RooBox”, in August where it will invest in its own kitchen space. The company will invest in 10 to 12 “RooBoxes” across the island, each with six to eight cooking areas for partner restaurants to station their own chefs. Deliveroo targets only gourmet restaurants and expects this concept to offer more food options as well as reduce delivery time for their customers. On the other hand, FoodPanda plans to increase its market by reaching out to service hawker centers. It also has plans to deliver food via drones in eight to ten years’ time.