INGREDIENTS 36 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2018 F or the past 50 years, Singapore- headquartered KH Roberts has been delivering customised food ̭avours and ingredients mainly to its clients in Asia. Demand for bespoke solutions is on the rise with more and more end consumers on the lookout for product ̭avours that are unique or exotic, for example. This was affirmed by Mr. Tan Pok Kiam, General Manager – Sales, Group Marketing, KH Roberts Group who commented, “Manufacturers today are facing the pressure to come up with new ̭avours and customise according to each market’s needs. It is not enough to just follow trends. This may be the case 10 years ago but not now. For one, we are already seeing many local beverage companies in Indonesia coming up with original ideas for new products that have not been copied from trends found in other countries.” In addition, Mr. Tan observed of Asian markets in the last ̬ve years that the rate of innovation has sped up even among many smaller players. In the past, Singapore was known as the test bed market for innovative products. However, many countries such as Indonesia and Thailand have begun innovating at a much faster pace since. With many food ingredient formulators feeling the heat from the growing competition worlwide, KH Roberts is well-positioned to render its improved services to local and international markets through its newly minted integrated flavour manufacturing facility in Singapore. Making Room for Innovation “We have been in the business of customisation as the Southeast Asia market is very fragmented, with different taste pro̬les to cater to even within the markets. If I sell a chocolate ̭avour that performs well in Malaysia, I cannot apply this to the Indonesian market and expect the same positive results. In Indonesia, for example, they may prefer a dark chocolate profile instead of a milk chocolate pro̬le. This is where customisation comes in. At any time, we are ready to customise and make minute di ̫ erences to satisfy the market demands,” explained Mr. Tan. Spanningover 100,000square feet andbuilt on a total investment of more than S$20 million, KH Roberts’ new facility will be key in boosting its R&D capabilities as well as improving its agility and speed to market. It includes a full-fledged flavours R&D centre, equipped with flavour creation, sensory evaluation, analytical testing, product development and bench-top chemistry capabilities. There is also a dedicated pilot plant space for small scale product development and test production. Well-equipped with the technologies and space need to continually innovate and broaden its portfolio, KH Roberts will be able to provide customers with bespoke ̭avours and ingredients that add value and consumer appeal to their products. Mr. Tan shared, “This integrated facility will help us better adapt to the di ̫ erent market pro̬les out there at a quicker pace. Let’s say we are preparing to enter a newmarket. We can immediately begin to work on adaptation and customisation here by carrying out trials. When the green light is given by the new customer, we can produce and ship it out without delay. Relying on Automation In addition to expanded R&D capabilities, the new facility marks an important milestone for Flavours for All KH Roberts is ready to meet increasingly demanding flavour needs in Asia and beyond with the opening of its integrated flavour manufacturing facility in Singapore. Welcome Address by CEO of KHR, Dr. Peter K.C. Ong to distinguished guests.