Many opportunities in Singapore, says Lim

19 September 2014

Exporters picked up some valuable pointers on breaking into the Singapore market at the John Lim breakfast in August hosted by FGC’s Export Initiative and NZTE.

John has more than 40 years’ experience in FMCG and retail, being a director of Classic Fine Foods (a leading food service company with operations in 14 countries), and a former CEO of Cold Storage Holdings.

He said that though Singapore is a small market it is very strategic for consumer brand positioning across Asia. It has the highest GDP per capita in the world and therefore consumers are focused on quality products, creating an opportunity for value-added imports.

John discussed the importance of brands in the market and stressed that brand investment needs to be consistent and sustained in order to drive awareness and sales. A surprising fact around the market dynamics is that 55% of food & beverage sales are in food service and this is growing strongly due to smaller household sizes and convenience.

Trends similar to New Zealand are in the areas of online growth, focus on healthy products, convenience, food quality, traceability, and organics. John said these are all areas where our food & beverage exporters can win in Singapore. New Zealand products are trusted and valued, but the biggest issue around growth is lack of in-market support.

John encouraged New Zealand suppliers to work together to solve this by looking at collaboration, consolidation, joint innovation and being more creative with ways of entering the market, such as online.

The next speaker session is planned for the end of November, with details in the next FGC newsletter.