September 2019



Welcome to the September issue of the USAPEEC ASEAN Regional Office’s newsletter.

This newsletter seeks to provide readers with useful product and major market information for institutional and consumer users of U.S. poultry. Readers will find a variety of general market information, program activities as well as useful product information in every issue.

This issue, we share several activities that took place in Southeast Asia.


  • Poultry Nutrition and Food Safety Handling Workshops evoked increased interest in U.S. poultry
  • Masterclass on U.S. poultry conducted by renowned chefs at SHATEC for culinary students
  • Coffee Shops in Vietnam are one of the fastest growing food & beverage sector
  • Atas cuisine in Singapore’s hawker centers
  • Singapore’s high-tech food manufacturing sector
  • The Organic Journey
  • Marrying gastronomy with sustainability
  • The bubble tea craze rages on



Additional Market Information Available

We have updated our website to include more information on market reports and export documentation guidelines.

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Poultry Nutrition and Food Safety Handling Workshops evoked increased interest in U.S. poultry

The Poultry Nutrition Workshop and Food Hygiene and Safety Workshops took place on August 20 and 21 2019, at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Before the commencement of the workshops, Margaret Say, USAPEEC ASEAN Director welcomed the participants and gave an opening address.

The Poultry Nutrition Workshop provided an overview of U.S. poultry and nutrition, general poultry product handling knowledge together with a turkey cutting demonstration. The Food Hygiene and Safety Workshop, which took place concurrently, covered basic knowledge of micro-organisms, food borne infections, food storage and handling. The workshop participants included certified chefs, sous chefs, trainee chefs, and students from culinary schools.

The response received from the participants was encouraging. Nearly all participants shared that they were more aware of U.S poultry products after attending the twin workshops. 80 percent of participants were more inclined to use U.S. poultry products after having attended the seminar. All participants also highlighted that they were more aware of the importance of food hygiene and food safety after attending the workshops.


Registering workshop participants

Margaret Say, USAPEEC ASEAN Director, providing welcome remarks at the Poultry Nutrition & Food Safety Workshops

Chef Norbert displaying whole roast turkey

Food Safety Lecturer Joe Chua emphasizes the finer points of food safety measures


Masterclass on U.S. poultry conducted by renowned chefs at SHATEC for culinary students

USAPEEC, in collaboration with the Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Centre (SHATEC), carried out the second Masterclass on U.S. poultry. Participants were SHATEC’s final year culinary students who had recently completed the poultry curriculum classes in the current academic year.

On September 18, the Masterclass kicked-off with a welcome address by Mr. Greg Tyler, the Senior Vice President of USAPEEC. Margaret Say, USAPEEC ASEAN Director was also present at the event.

In the first half of the Masterclass, Celebrity Chef Xu Tian Mu demonstrated two dishes. The first dish was his version of sous vide chicken breast with wilted spinach and pepper salsa, and the second was the Chicken Roll with Ebi Mayo and cauliflower rice. In the second half of the Masterclass, Celebrity Chef Eric Low displayed two creations. The first was the Stuffed Chicken Roulade with glutinous rice, ginger and onion confit while the second creation was the Grilled U.S. Duck Breast in Teochew style sautéed with ginger and sweet potato mash.

The students were encouraged to be creative to craft their own meal preparations in their future workplaces. The Masterclass was met with extremely keen responses from the participants. Some stayed back after the sessions to find out more about the different poultry menu applications and ingredient uses.


A cross section of the participants in the Masterclass presented by Chef Xu Tianmu at SHATEC

Chef Tianmu putting final touches to the chicken roll in sampling portions  in the Masterclass

Chef Eric Low putting final touches to his prepared dish


Coffee Shops in Vietnam are one of the fastest growing food & beverage sector

Over the last decade, coffee cafes have been rapidly expanding throughout the major urban centres of Vietnam. Sitting down to sip a cup of coffee and chatting with friends in a coffee establishment has become a common lifestyle choice for many youths and young adults.

From traditional family run coffee stores in old shop houses to elaborately themed establishments in shopping centers or office blocks, these coffee cafes sometimes offer interesting coffee variations. For example, some add yoghurt, eggs or even fruits to their coffee.

True coffee connoisseurs prefer their coffee black. Others will opt for coffee with extra condensed milk. With rising income levels and a growing number of younger consumers, the growth prospect for the coffee cafe industry appears bright.



A typical coffee house in Hanoi

An upmarket coffee cafe in Vietnam


Atas cuisine in Singapore’s hawker centers

Singapore’s famed hawker centers and coffee shops are traditionally the place for cheap local fares ranging from Teochew fish ball noodles to Malay curry laksa and Indian roti prata. However, there is a new entry into the local hawker food scene - Atas cuisine.

Atas is derived from a Malay word meaning “upstairs” and is used by Singaporeans as a local slang for “high-class”. Atas cuisine refer to gourmet food, be it European or Japanese in origin, that are traditionally available only in high end restaurants.

However, the best part about having Atas food at local hawker centers is that they usually cost less compared to a restaurant.

Lovers of Japanese cuisine will be happy to note there are several Atas Japanese hawker stalls in town including the Gyu Nami with its bowl of Wagyu roast beef donburi at Amoy Food Center, Kazan which offers Unagi sets at Chinatown Complex and Food Centre, and Buta Kin which sells Tonkatsu ramen.

Atas western cuisine hawkers are less common but there are certainly a few gems hiding amongst the local hawker fare:

  1. Urban Smokeshack at Bedok Marketplace serves mouth-watering smoked meat including chicken thighs with local sauces.
  2. Meet 4 Meat at Brunner’s Coffeeshop which is operated by experienced chefs serves gourmet steak dishes including Beef Wellington
  3. Lad & Dad at Maxwell Food Center offers hearty British comfort food such as Beef Stew with Yorkshire Pudding.

Smoked Applewood Chicken Thigh (Source: Urban Smokeshack Facebook)

Wagyu Roast Beef Donburi (Source: GyuNami Facebook)


Singapore’s high-tech food manufacturing sector

Singapore is well known for its food. From cheap local hawker fares to international cuisines and Michelin-starred fine-dining, this little island has it all. Less well-known is the country’s rapidly growing and innovating high-tech food manufacturing sector.

As of 2017, the local food manufacturing industry contributed $S4.3 billion to Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and more than half of the manufacturing products are exported. The industry employed more than 48,000 workers and accounted for 1.1 percent of Singapore’s GDP. Given that Singapore has one of the smallest domestic markets in Asia, the ability to export to the wider market is key to the success of the local food manufacturing sector. The industry leans heavily on Singapore’s strong reputation for food quality, safety, and most importantly, the ability to innovate.

Chew’s Agriculture is a leading producer of fresh eggs in Singapore. The business supplies more than 120 million eggs a year to supermarkets, wholesalers, and food & beverage outlets. Growing health concerns has also led the company to innovate and produce ‘designer eggs’ which contain more vitamin E, lower fat content, and 30 percent less cholesterol compared to a generic egg. This is possible via carefully designed feed.

Since Singapore is a small island with limited space, local farmers adopted high technology farming methods such as vertical farming and hydroponics to produce vegetables for local consumption. Sustenir, for example, utilizes vertical farming methods and artificial climate control to produce western type vegetables such as Arugula, Tuscan and Curly Kale for Singapore all year round.

The truly high-technology segment of Singapore’s food manufacturing industry is still in its nascent stage of development. However, its prospects look promising, especially in the areas of food sustainability and health.

SinFoo Tech, a spin-off from the National University of Singapore (NUS), recently patented a fermentation technology to bio-transform soy whey into an alcoholic beverage. The beverage is currently tentatively named Sachi and will be marketed as an alternative to beer. SinFoo Tech aims to tackle the issue of sustainable food production by giving value to by-products of existing food production processes.

Alchemy Foodtech, another new high technology food manufacturing company, is currently awaiting the patent for its 5ibrePlus™ product. 5ibrePlus™ can be added to traditional high glycemic index (GI) refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice and noodles to lower the GI of food products without compromising taste.

It will be interesting to see what other innovative products emerge from Singapore’s food technology cluster in the near future.

Bread from FoodAlchemy (Source: FoodAlchemy Facebook)


The Organic Journey

Eat well and live well has become an increasingly popular dream to many compared to a decade ago. With the prolific growth of organic farms in Asia and Singapore. We are increasingly able to easily access and purchase organic products at reasonable prices.

A first vertical farm called Sky Greens was also awarded the world’s first national standard for organic vegetables grown in urban environments.

A recent visit to two organic focused supermarkets, Mahota Commune and Fairprice Vivocity, brought us through an enjoyable and fruitful organic journey.

At Mahota Commune, we had the opportunity to learn how to grow our own greens. Over at its Kitchen and Pantry, we were able to enjoy our lunch prepared from organic and fresh ingredients.

In a number of Fairprice supermarkets, the Simply Organic Section is a common sight.  Consumers are spoilt by the wide availability of organic products - vegetables, fruits, dairy, breakfast cereals - and a broad spectrum of household items such as washing detergents, utensils et cetera. Most important of all, the wide selection from the local supermarkets provide the consumers choices  to live and eat well!



Organic chicken and meat section in Mahota supermarket

Organic Lunch prepared at Mahota supermarket

Eye catching organic snacks and foods for children


Marrying gastronomy with sustainability

Sustainable dining is no longer a novelty today. It has gone mainstream as consumers become more conscious about where their food comes from. This translates to an increasing responsibility for food and beverage (F&B) enterprises to become more intentional in their business practices and operations. This shift towards sustainability is a process. Here are some examples of how businesses can get started.
Responsibly-sourced ingredients
Responsible sourcing means looking beyond the traditional aspects such as costs, quality, and delivery time, when selecting suppliers. One considers the social, ethical, and environmental factors, too. When applied to ingredient sourcing, this could mean working with local free-range farms. For example, 80 percent of the ingredients used by Michelin-starred restaurant Labyrinth are from local farmers, fishermen, and fishery ports from and around Singapore.
An edible garden
One of the easiest ways towards sustainability for F&B companies is to grow their own produce. One can simply start with commonly used herbs such as Basil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley and Rosemary. If space is a constraint, eateries can consider planting herbs in pots and containers and growing them on the rooftop. Yellow Pot, a restaurant under Six Senses Duxton, is an example of a farm-to-fork restaurant. It serves customers food created from produce grown in their own edible rooftop garden at Six Senses Maxwell.
Beyond food
Restaurants can also encourage employees to adopt sustainable practices. Turning off the tap when it is not in use and recycling cardboard cartons are some examples. Motion-sensitive lights are also a viable option.

Sustainability is a long-term investment. It is important for F&B businesses to understand that any amount of incremental change is a step in the right direction towards sustainability.

Vegetable harvest

Saving water


The bubble tea craze rages on

Bubble tea, first introduced in Taiwan, is soaring in popularity throughout Southeast Asia today. According to GrabFood – the extended service of ride-hailing company Grab – orders for bubble tea grew by a regional average of 3000% in 2018. One of the reasons for the drink’s popularity is its chewy tapioca balls also known as pearls or boba.
To satisfy the insatiable thirst of consumers for bubble tea, restaurants and cafes across ASEAN have tapped on this trend. A common method employed is the inclusion of pearls into dishes or food products. Sometimes, this can lead to odd fusions.
For instance, Ochado Sabah – a Japanese concept café in Malaysia – pairs ramen with pearls. Traditionally, the dish is a simple combination of slightly thin, curly noodles served in a soy-flavored chicken broth. In Ochado Sabah’s attempt to mix sweet and savory, its exclusive menu offers the Boba Japanese Noodles. The dish is served with Japanese noodles, crabsticks, and pearls with miso or spicy soup base.

In Singapore, mooncake season is here. While the traditional Chinese mooncake consists of lotus paste with one or two egg yolks, mooncake sellers here have taken inspiration from the sweet boba drink. Chang Ho Sek, a mooncake patisserie, offers bubble tea snow skin mooncakes that come in two flavors – milk tea and matcha green tea. Its tea infused lotus seed paste is wrapped with delicate snow skin. Consumers will also encounter the familiar chewy tapioca pearls.

Bubble tea (Source:Phan Anh Tran on Unsplash)


News Bites : September 2019

Southeast Asia
SEA to see four new Rosewood hotels in five years

Rosewood Hotel Group which currently operates 27 properties in 15 countries will launch four new hotels in the Southeast Asian region within the next five years. The new hotels are Rosewood Yangon in Myanmar (2019), Rosewood Hoi An in Vietnam (2021), Rosewood Siem Reap in Cambodia (2023), and Rosewood Hermana Mayor in Philippines (2023).
CDC approved two hotel projects valued at US$379 million

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) approved two hotel projects in Sihanoukville valued at USD379 million. The Xigang V-Continent International Investment’s USD226 million hotel will be built in Sihanoukville’s Commune III. It will have 1,111 rooms.  The Hai Gang Grand Hotel’s USD153 million investment to be built in Commune IV will have 900 rooms. There are currently 98 hotels operating in Sihanoukville, according to Preah Sihanouk provincial Department of Tourism figures.
Bokor National Park area earmarked for high-end tourism destination

The government has earmarked parts of Bokor National Park to be developed as a high-end luxury and historical tourist destinations that cater to both domestic and international visitors. According to the ‘2035 Bokor City Master Plan’, nine key areas have been identified for residential, commercial, mixed use areas, transportation, tourism, administration, public spaces, green areas, cultural and religious areas, and technical infrastructure areas.
Marriott International aggressive expansion into Indonesia

Marriott International’s chief operating officer Asia Pacific Rajeev Menon said that the company is targeting to operate 53 hotels in Indonesia under various brands, according to local media The Jakarta Post. The company is currently building 33 new properties across Indonesia, some of which are in Bali, Surabaya, Belitung, Batam and Jakarta.
Indonesia renews its chicken import regulation

Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said that it will adjust its chicken import regulation in response to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body’s decision on a lawsuit initiated by Brazil. The renewed regulation will ensure that Indonesia has safe, healthy, and halal products.
SM Prime opening second mall in Olongapo

SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SM Prime) is opening its second lifestyle mall, SM City Olongapo Central in Olongapo City. The new mall will add 72,000 square meters of gross floor area (GFA) to SM’s mall portfolio. The anchor tenants of the mall include SM Supermarket, The SM Store, Our Home, Watsons, Uniqlo, Surplus, Sport Central, SM Appliance Center, Ace Hardware, Banco de Oro, and China Bank.
JR East Co to expand operations into Singapore

East Japan Railway Co. plans to open JR East metro station stores at selected Singapore MRT stations by the end of 2019. The current plan is to set up JR East convenience stores at 27 out of the 32 stations along the Thomson-East Coast MRT line.
The Source Bulk Foods launched first Singapore outlet

The Source Bulk Foods, Australia’s largest bulk foods and zero waste retailer, launched its first Singapore outlet at Cluny Court. The store will carry over 350 products that include premium whole foods and other packaging-free household products. Founded in 2012, the store promoted an ethos of zero packaging and encourage customers to buy and use only what is needed.
BreadTalk Group to buy Food Junction Management (FJM)

BreadTalk Group, a food and beverage company in Singapore, agreed to pay SGD80 million (USD58.3 million) for Food Junction Management (FJM). FJM currently operates 12 food courts in Singapore and three in Malaysia. Breadtalk also owns and operates Food Republic food courts in Singapore, Greater China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia.
Key Thailand retailers agree to stop handing out single-use plastics January 2020

Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that key Thailand retailers and plastic manufacturers have reached an agreement to stop handing out single use plastic to customers starting January 2020. Major players in the agreement include the Central Group, The Mall Group, CP All Plc, Robinson Plc, and Siam Makro Plc. It is estimated that Thailand’s consumers used 45 billion single-use plastic bags a year, and 30 percent is used by department stores and 24-hour convenience stores.

Food delivery market gets creative as competition heats up

As competition in the food delivery market heats up, players turn to moment marketing tactics such as limited time offers, special menus, and discounts to continue attracting customers to their application platforms. Thailand’s food delivery market is estimated to be worth B35 billion (USD1.15 billion) in 2019, according to Kasikorn Research Center. Food delivery accounts for 8 percent of Thailand’s restaurant market.

MK Restaurant Group to acquire 65 percent of Lam Chareon Seafood

MK Restaurant Group plans to purchase a 65 percent shareholding in the Lam Charoen Seafood chain for B2.06 billion (USD67.13 million), according to an announcement posted on the Thai stock exchange. The deal is expected to be closed by December this year. MK Restaurant Group currently operates 400 outlets and manages a portfolio of brand names including MK, Yayoi, Miyazaki, Hakata, Bizzy Box, Le Petit, and MK Harvest throughout Thailand.

Production shift from pigs to ducks and cattle

Farmers in the Lam Dong province have started to shift their production from pork to duck and beef, according to the Department of Livestock Production of Lam Dong province. The shift is due to economic losses caused by African Swine Flu (ASF). The department expects the duck flock to increase from five million to six million, and the cattle herd to increase from 100,000 head to 120,000 head.

Disclaimer: All opinions and views expressed in the articles published in the newsletter are those of the individual journalists and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, the newsletter's sponsors or USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

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