Functional porridge: Malaysian firm targets major halal markets with bird’s nest product
Vesbo Malaysia’s founder, Terry Swee, said it was a huge advantage that the product was halal certified.
While the firm is currently focusing on the Asian market, Swee believes there is high market demand for their products in other regions such as in the West and Middle East. “We obtained the halal (JAKIM) certification in 2016. We think that our product is fit to fill up the needs of halal food market across the globe.”
The products contains brown rice, oats, collagen, bird’s nest and milk, and is preservative and MSG free.
Instant but healthy
Swee said that demand for porridge in Asia was strong. For example in China, over 60% of people would accept porridge/congee as their breakfast choice. Other countries in Asia were also high porridge consumers, such as Malaysia (30%), Singapore (30%), South Korea (25%), Indonesia (20%), Vietnam (50%) and Hong Kong (30%).
He added: “People are now getting more health conscious and due to their hectic lifestyles, consumers do not have time to prepare good food. Therefore, we want to fulfil the needs of the healthy but convenient market,
“When we think of instant, we automatically think it's non-healthy. I want to create food which are prepared instantly but healthier.”
“There are about 0.6g of bird’s nest per bowl, and 3000mg of collagen,” Swee said. “There were several health benefits to the product, including easy digestion, improve immune system, smoothen skin, strengthen teeth and bones, as well as lower blood cholesterol.”
He explained he used a similar method to powder foam, to keep the nutritional values of the original ingredients intact.
Powder foam or foam mat drying is an economical alternative to spray or freeze-drying, where the liquid is whipped to form stable foam and dehydrated by thermal means.
The porridge is suitable for all ages from babies above six months to elderly.
It is available in two flavours, mushroom and Tropicana fruits. They retail for RM9.90 (US$2.40) per cup.
Areas of opportunities
The firm first launched its products in Malaysia in 2016 in Aeon supermarkets and pharmacies. Swee told us that sales had been growing by 20% each year.
Besides Malaysia, the products are also available in China, South Korea and Singapore Airlines (Scoot).
The firm exported to South Korea in 2017, followed by China and Singapore in 2018.