Asias beverage king sets up operations in Singapore
Asia’s beverage king sets up operations in Singapore
Suzhou Jiahe Foods, a leading beverage specialist, recently set up its first base outside China at FoodAxis@Senoko. Find out why it was their location of choice here in the Little Red Dot and its plans for growth.
Suzhou Jiahe Foods Industry Co. Ltd is no stranger to product excellence. With 18 years of experience under its belt, the company is currently Asia’s leading beverage specialist, dominating the market with its non-dairy creamer, coffee, tea and instant beverage products. In 2012, Suzhou Jiahe Foods’ sales revenue exceeded 1.6 billion yuan (S$323 million), and it is currently producing 200 million cups of coffee annually. Its products are sold under its King Flower and Krima brands, and in China, these are widely available in coffeeshops, drink shops, tea houses, and Chinese and Western resturants.
When it came time to expand operations outside of China, Suzhou Jiahe set its eyes on Singapore, and Kingmao International (S) Pte Ltd was established in 2018 to support their regional distribution operations and network of customers in Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
On top of distribution, Kingmao was also established as a Regional Product Applications & Development Centre, coffee beans roasting plant, and product blending & packaging plant. In view of extensive manufacturing and export operations, finding the right lease partner was key to ensure success. When the company teamed up with CapitaLand Singapore (Business Park & Industrial) and its property FoodAxis @ Senoko was proposed as a potential site, everything fell into place — it checked all the boxes for the space the company needed, and CapitaLand ensured the setup and transition was as seamless as possible.
FoodAxis is a light industrial building located in Singapore’s food cluster sector that already has a good tenant mix of both local and multinational companies, such as Nissin Foods Singapore and Han’s, which was a main draw for the company. Built specially for food processing and handling, it is a green- and energy-efficient building with naturally-ventilated high ceilings, internal air wells and a waste disposal recycling system that separates organic and non-organic waste. It also has dedicated exhaust shafts designed for companies in food processing, manufacturing and catering.
We sat down with Mr David Liu Xin Rong, Director of Kingmao International for an insight to its partnership with CapitaLand, business operations and future plans for growth.
What is Kingmao’s main business? Who are your notable customers in the region?
We are a large scale modern F&B specialist integrating research and development, production and sale of vegetable fat, coffee, solid beverages and food ingredients. Our core business is in coffee, tea and creamer — our products are made in China based on German quality and standards, where we’ve introduced advanced production equipment and technology in everything from roasted coffee beans to ground coffee powder, coffee concentrate to instant coffee powder. We also have one of Asia’s largest non-dairy creamer production base. In short, Kingmao has developed a whole industry chain ecological platform for coffee customers. Some of our key customers include Premier and Esi in Myanmar.
Why choose Singapore as your manufacturing base outside of Suzhou?
We chose Singapore for its strategic global position in the export market especially in Asia, and for its excellent R&D centres and manufacturing operations.
How did CapitaLand ensure a quick and smooth setup for Kingmao?
They provided professional and reliable assistance throughout the whole process. The CapitaLand team was very proactive and efficient in addressing our queries and concerns, even going out of their way to provide contractors. This helped to reduce unnecessary delays in getting our base in place.
Why is the building FoodAxis the ideal space for your operations?
We chose FoodAxis for its good building infrastructure and efficient unit layout. The dimensions, height and layout of the space were all favourable to our operational needs. The basic infrastructure such as drainage and exhaust systems were already in place, which reduced our setup time and costs, and the hassle of doing it ourselves. The building also has a 40-foot container ramp-up design which allows for efficient loading and unloading, and premise maintenance.
You are currently renovating your space. How will this boost your business operations?
We will be putting in an immersive sensory lab and new state-of-the-art facilities. Our mission is to always produce foods that focus on nutrition, health, innovation, taste and quality. We know that the right values determine the direction and future of our business.
CapitaLand has a ready network of properties in the region. Do you see Kingmao leveraging the partnership with CapitaLand in its future growth plans in and around the region?
Yes. [We can count on them as a partner] in setting up overseas production and R&D centres in other export markets as we develop our business.
What are your future plans?
We are not passing up the possibilities of upstream ingredients technology-driven manufacturing facilities. [We believe this will help] fulfill our customers’ expectations, and facilitate our business growth and success. Kingmao has set a new blueprint for coffee, and we believe in the future of Chinese coffee.