Malaysian Foods to the World
The onset of the pandemic and the rise of consumer concerns about how their food is being made or where it originates from, has spurred the already growing movement for healthy foods. The increasingly popular vegetarian and vegan cuisine movements gathered steam and this has benefitted long-time specialist food manufacturers in these segments.
According to a study, it shows that globally, alternative protein investments grew 60 per cent from 2020 to 2021 to a new record-breaking with a total of USD5 billion (RM22 billion). Within Asia Pacific, alternative proteins skyrocketed 92% from USD162 million in 2020 to USD312 million in 2021.
Whilst pricey competitors are adapting Western cuisines quickly for vegetarians and vegans, the Asian and Malaysian’s strength in this sector due to religious adherences, is becoming a boon for Malaysian vegetarian food exporters such as Beneras Sdn. Bhd.
Established in 2001 in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Beneras Sdn. Bhd. is a food manufacturing company where it produces vegetarian food products based on soy and mushroom. Beneras provides ready-to-cook (RTC) and ready-to-eat (RTE) services as well as producing herbal beverages under the brand of G’Herbs. Beneras is also committed to maintaining a leading position in the soy and mushroom based pure vegetarian manufacturing.
To keep its frozen food products competitively priced, Beneras has expanded to soy and mushroom-rich countries like India, Indonesia and China, allowing for local sourcing with the added benefit of smaller carbon footprints.
“The purpose of a BUSINESS is to create customers who create CUSTOMERS”, said the Beneras Sdn. Bhd.’s CEO, Mr. Gunasegaran. He also added, “Over the two decades we have been in this operation, we’ve carved our niche in the vegetarian food market. Recently, we are seeing large interest to stock more of our Samsara frozen food products as customers in Malaysia and across the globe look to eat healthier without burning a hole in their pockets”.
“We’re proud of our growth and look forward to adding more products to our offerings, with over 130 so far. This is to keep pace with competition from European or American alternative meats or alternative protein producers that are entering Asian supermarkets,” he said.
The frozen food produced by Beneras are under its very own brand called SAMSARA, which is incredibly diverse, allowing Beneras to cater to all sorts of consumer’s demands. These include vegetarian chicken, vegetarian mutton, vegetarian fish, vegetarian burgers and sausages, vegetarian satay and even vegetarian paneer options. Samsara line of frozen food vegetarian products are popular in India. A key to cracking the massive yet competitive Indian food market is Beneras partnership with the Mutaiya Group of Companies, which is also based in Sungai Petani.
Beneras also has its own beverage line under the G’Herbs brand, where it exports products such as 3-in-1 slimming coffee, herbs, juices, teas, and coffees.
Beneras HQ and manufacturing facility in Kedah incorporates both ISO(currently 22000: 2018) and the HACCP food safety management system–these systems have been introduced and implemented since the operations began in 2001.
In addition, its in-house quality management system ensures product safety through certifications such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), JAKIM halal certification (134 products), and the Industry Responsibility Safe Food Certification Scheme (MeSTI).
While the vegetarian food producer is in the process of applying the Smart Automation Grant from MIDA, Beneras has also obtained certification approval from MIDA for manufacturing companies exempted from manufacturing licenses under the Industrial Coordination Act, 1975 (ACT 156).
To learn more about how your company can benefit from similar grants and incentives and drive your food export ambitions, contact the Food Technology and Resource Based Industries Division of MIDA.