In May of this year, Kudos Blends embarked on an important business trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to meet our distributor, Bischem. The primary goal of this trip was to introduce our innovative baking powders to both current and prospective bakeries and premix manufacturers.

Our journey began with practical presentations held at Bischem’s site in Selangor, where we gave an overview of Kudos Blends and the solutions our products provide. Rather than a large presentation to several businesses at once, we presented to each company individually in private sessions, allowing them the opportunity to ask questions related to their products. Thankfully, the staff at Bischem had given our team a crash course in Malaysian culture and business etiquette which was invaluable during our meetings and helped us to establish good relationships with the customers.

Following these sessions, we visited one of the leading premium bakery retailers to discuss their new factory, which will produce cakes and baked products for bakery stores across Malaysia. We also presented our newest bakery solutions to their team, which had the added excitement of being held during a thunderstorm, with torrential rain pounding on the roof (which hopefully didn’t distract the audience too much!)

Addressing Malaysian Market Trends

During our time in Malaysia, we observed several notable market trends distinct from those in the UK:

  1. The use of vibrant artificial colours and intense flavourings is prominent in Malaysia. For example, chocolate cakes often contain added colour to achieve a darker, richer appearance and artificial flavour to intensify the chocolate taste. However, the Malaysian market, like many others, is starting to see a shift towards clean-label products with fewer artificial additives. This makes our ZEUS™ C120 product particularly appealing, as it enhances chocolate colour and flavour, reducing the need for expensive cocoa powder, synthetic colours and artificial flavourings. Given the current high prices of cocoa powder, significant cost-savings can be made too.
  2. The baked products available in Malaysia also have some unique characteristics. Cakes typically have a much finer crumb structure with a light and bouncy texture when compared to those in the UK. There is also an abundance of wonderful textures, flavours and fillings including gula melaka (palm sugar), red bean, coconut, cempedak (similar to jackfruit), durian, pineapple, mango and pandan (which is delicious!)
  3. Another area of interest is the replacement of sodium aluminium phosphate (SALP) in baked goods due to the health concerns associated with aluminium-based ingredients. Currently, SALP is a permitted food additive in Malaysia, however, this may change as consumers become more aware of the health risks. We also discovered that although the most popular industrial baking powder contains SALP, it typically does not produce consistent results for industrial bakeries. With our range of SALP replacers and SALP-free baking powders, designed to replicate the performance of high-quality SALP, manufacturers are not only assured consistency in their baked goods but they can also make a healthier and cleaner baked product.
  4. As over 60% of Malaysians are Muslim, the customers that we presented to highlighted the need for all ingredients to be Halal-certified. They were delighted to find that all products made by Kudos Blends are fully Halal-certified.

Providing Solutions to Market Challenges

We identified several challenges for industrial bakeries in the Malaysian market including intense heat and high humidity, frozen product shelf-life and preservative restrictions. Throughout our presentations, we tailored our discussions to address these challenges, focusing on ZEUS™ C120, ZEUS™ G90, PELL™ Luna, and our SALP replacers. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, with customers appreciating our detailed focus on baking powder as a crucial but often overlooked ingredient in overcoming various baking challenges.

This trip provided invaluable experience in understanding cultural nuances, such as conducting meetings and baking demonstrations without shoes. It was a strange experience at first, but we soon got used to presenting in bare feet! It was also an extremely useful exercise to get first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced in different markets, enabling us to highlight where Kudos Blends products can provide effective solutions.

Face-to-face meetings with Bischem’s customers allowed them to ask more in-depth questions relating to their products and demonstrated to them that Kudos Blends can offer support with a wide range of technical problems they encounter. Overall, our visit to Kuala Lumpur provided us with a deeper understanding of the Malaysian market, enhancing our ability to provide the best recommendations and shaping our future projects, ensuring that we continue to deliver top-quality products that meet the diverse needs of our global clientele.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Bischem team and all the companies and employees we had the pleasure of meeting and presenting to. Your hospitality and engagement made our trip truly memorable and productive. Thank you for your collaboration and support!