In Singapore, a new online e-commerce platform has recently been launched in August to showcase local food brands and help lesser-known food start-ups to reach a wider audience in both domestic and overseas markets.
Food Culture Singapore currently has about 30 brands in its platform but it plans to grow this number to 100 by the end of the year. Consumers can buy products from these brands on the foodculture.sg website.
Its founder, John Cheng, is the director of family-owned sugar manufacturing firm Cheng Yew Heng, and he has decided to set up the platform to assist other brands to grow. Startup companies that have joined the platform include The SOS Kitchen (jams/sauces) and Confetti Snacks (vegetable chips). The platform basically helps these lesser known brands to showcase their products so that customers can make their buying decisions faster. Food Culture Singapore takes a commission from the products sold on the platform.
In addition, the platform also shares the story of each brand so that it can better connect with customers. Director of Food Manufacturing Bernice Tay from Enterprise Singapore, a government-owned trade promotion body, said that the pandemic has accelerated the push for e-commerce and digital marketing, with companies looking online to boost their sales and expand their customer base. She added, “To stand out, they need to start telling their heritage stories, so customers can relate to, and build affinity with, their brands.”
Enterprise Singapore is providing the funding and resources to help set up the platform.
Many of the start-up companies on this new platform are also part of Innovate 360, a hub in Jurong for more than 40 food start-ups. Cheng is also the founder of Innovate 360 in 2018.
Cheng plans to launch an Asian food venture capital fund by December this year to raise funds that will be invested in start-ups that are involved in deep tech, agritech, consumer-packaged goods and food sustainability.