ASIAN MEAT - Asian Agribiz

ASIAN MEAT - Asian Agribiz

                                            ASIAN MEAT
Cured meat
                                                                    M A G A Z I N E

innovate to
stay relevant

      Cured and dried processed meats still have a place in the market,
      but they fill a segmented category. ARIEF FACHRUDIN and the
      Asian Agribiz team find that some cured meat producers are
      innovating their product offerings and marketing to stay relevant
      and to attract consumers of all ages.

2                                                    ASIAN MEAT MAGAZINE – July/August 2018
ASIAN MEAT - Asian Agribiz
Bali Ananda’s pork lapcheong is made of
                                                                                    natural ingredients using a special family

                                         C      onsumption of bakkwa, a
                                         traditional Chinese snack of dried
                                                                                  a town in Johor neighbouring
                                         sweet barbecued meat, during                “The traditional bakkwa market
                                         Chinese New Year has been                is too competitive with too many
                                         stagnating or declining among            players competing in the small
                                         Malaysians, as consumers become          segment. We must also be quick
                                         more health and price conscious.         to adapt to consumers’ changing
                                         Besides, Malaysia has a famous           preference,” he said.
                                         bakkwa brand with a long history.
                                                                                  Bakkwa tissue
                                         These factors combined have made
                                         the dried meat market challenging for       Unlike the oily, chewy and meaty
                                         small and medium sized players.          taste of traditional bakkwa, Mr Tan
                                            However, Tan Tian Han, owner of       claims his bakkwa tissue is healthier,
                                         Malaysia’s Kinyubi Food, believes        less oily, less sweet and crunchier.
                                         the market will always have room         As the name implies, his creation
                                         for innovative products to suit the      is paper-thin, with thickness of less
                                         consumers’ ever-changing taste buds.     than 1mm and a generous scattering
                                            Mr Tan started to develop the         of almond flakes on the meat.
                                         signature bakkwa tissue four years          But the work required to produce
                                         ago after he tried it during a trip to   bakkwa tissue is more tedious than
                                         Taiwan. On his return to Malaysia, he    traditional bakkwa. It takes Mr Tan
                                         decided to create his own Malaysian      2-3 days to produce it, in contrast
                                         version of bakkwa tissue. He has         to less than a day for traditional
                                         been selling the product since 2016.     bakkwa.
                                            Prior to this, he was producing          He added that his product is
                                         traditional meat jerky, meat floss and   especially popular among younger
                                         related meat products for more than      and elderly customers who have
                                         10 years. But the bakkwa tissue is       difficulty chewing on the traditional
                                         what got his business going among        bakkwa. However, traditional bakkwa
                                         residents and tourists to Batu Pahat,    still enjoys a fair share of followers.

ASIAN MEAT MAGAZINE – July/August 2018                                                                                       3
ASIAN MEAT - Asian Agribiz
and curry flavours, which he hopes       so many innovative, modern meat
                                               will appeal to a wider Malaysian         products with good packaging in the
                                               crowd.                                   market. This is also a challenge for
                                                  Mr Tan reckons producing bakkwa       us to improve the taste, packaging
                                               tissue costs 4-5 times more              and marketing of our traditional
                                               than traditional bakkwa. Firstly,        cured and dried products.”
                                               unlike integrated producers that           After joining the firm in 2016, Mr
                                               have upstream and downstream             Jaya decided to set up a website for
                                               businesses, he obtains lean meat         the company called sosisbaliananda.
                                               from a supplier, and thus is subject     com. Through this platform, he
                                               to fluctuations in raw material          promotes the firm’s profile and
                                               price. Secondly, the almond flakes       products without being limited by
                                               required in production is sourced        distance and time. In addition, he
           Tan Tian Han (right) and his wife
                            Gan Mee Leng.      overseas and costs higher as well.       also promotes the products on
                                                  But given the price sensitivity       several online marketplaces such as
  Mr Tan is constantly tweaking his            of consumers, he must delicately         Tokopedia and Bukalapak, to name
recipe. “We are striking a balance             balance the impact of increased raw      a few.
between healthier ingredients while            material price with his selling price.     He revealed that the strategies
maintaining the traditional way of                                                      have proven effective and has
making bakkwa,” Mr Tan said.                   Adapting to changing lifestyles
                                                                                        successfully raised both the firm’s
  The bakkwa tissue contains                   and habits
                                                                                        sales and brand awareness.
less than 10% of lard and                         Bali Ananda, a famous lapcheong         “Bali is still our main market, but
substantially less sugar per sheet             (Chinese sausage) producer in Bali,      with our online marketing, today
than conventional meat jerky, thus             Indonesia, has been in the cured         our products are distributed to
creating a drier, less shiny texture.          and dried pork business since 1972.      customers in Greater Jakarta, East
Sugar is applied on the pork slice             However, with changes in consumer        Java and South Sulawesi. Several
during production to caramelise the            lifestyles and shopping habits, the      restaurants in Jakarta and Surabaya
bakkwa’s texture.                              family business needed to adapt.         have also used our pork lapcheong,”
New variants                                      Christian Jaya, a third-generation    he told Asian Meat Magazine.
                                               family member, said: “In this internet
 He is currently developing two                                                         New taste and product
                                               era, we must change to stay relevant
more variants for bakkwa tissue: spicy         and competitive. Currently there are       Pork lapcheong with an original
                                                                                        taste is the signature product of Bali
                                                                                        Ananda, made using a traditional
                                                                                        recipe that has been passed down
                                                                                        through the generations.
                                                                                          However, Mr Jaya thinks that
                                                                                        relying only on that product will not
                                                                                        be enough to grow the business. So,
                                                                                        he ventured to explore new tastes.
                                                                                          Now, Bali Ananda has new taste
                                                                                        variants for its pork lapcheong,

The production of bakkwa tissue.

                       Bakkwa tissue waiting to be sorted into boxes.

4                                                                                          ASIAN MEAT MAGAZINE – July/August 2018
ASIAN MEAT - Asian Agribiz

                                                 Meanwhile, the new ‘spicy &            “Many hotels can’t afford that
                                              sweet’ and ‘honey’ variants are         price. On the other hand, they still
                                              vacuum packed for longer shelf          want to have the product for their
                                              life. “With vacuum packaging, the       guests. Dagsap developed smoked
                                              products are good for consumption       beef to respond the market
                                              up to eight months,” he said.           change,” said Mr Mahisa, adding
                                                 In the near future, Mr Jaya wants    that the price of the smoked beef is
                                              to revamp the product packaging to      more affordable because it is made
                                              make it more eye-catching.              of CL 85 beef combined with fillers.
                                              Direct marketing                        Modified machine
                                                Mr Jaya looks to Singapore’s             To produce smoked beef, Dagsap
                                              bakkwa producer Bee Cheng Hiang         uses a modified sausage line. Mr
                                              as a good example to follow in the      Mahisa said the production process
                                              cured and dried meat industry.          is almost like sausage production.
                                                “They combine tradition and           The difference
                                              technology in producing their           is that the
Christian Jaya (left) and his father          innovative cured and dried meat         dough is
Wiratha Darma.
                                              products. They also have outlets to     moulded and
                                              sell directly to consumers,” he said.   then sliced.
including ‘spicy & sweet’ and ‘honey’.          “I want to steer our business this       To modify the
Mr Jaya has also created a new                way. I want to open an outlet in        line, Dagsap
product: pork jerky with original             Bali, so people can have easy and       worked with
taste.                                        direct access to our products.”         different
  “With the new tastes and                                                            partners,
new product, we want to target                Innovating with market
                                                                                      including a
consumers of all ages by giving               change                                                              Ishana Mahisa
                                                                                      local workshop.
them more choices,” he said.                                                          They asked Busch from Germany
                                                Beef bacon was a flagship
  This year, Mr Jaya wants to create                                                  to supply the vacuum pump. They
                                              cured meat product of Indonesia’s
another new product. “We want                                                         also worked with the Indonesian
                                              Dagsap Endura Eatore, used
to produce a traditional frankfurter                                                  agent of a Japanese meat
                                              by many hotels in the country.
made of pork with a special recipe.                                                   processing equipment supplier
                                              However, over the years, sales had
We will soon develop this product                                                     to help with machine design.
                                              been stagnant at only two tonnes
for trials. If our tasters say okay, we                                               For slicer, they turned to Treif of
                                              per month, forcing the company to
will begin commercial production,”                                                    Germany.
                                              discontinue the product.
he said.                                                                                 “We learned that a normal
                                                Increasing competition in the
Varied packaging                              hotel industry is another factor why    sausage line has some difficulties
                                              Dagsap decided to stop making           in producing smoked beef, so we
  Bali Ananda’s pork lapcheong with           the product, said Ishana Mahisa,        made some modifications. The
original taste is traditionally packed        Director.                               hopper was tapered for higher
in plastic bags tied with rope. “We             “There are many new hotels            gravity. The stuffer was also
have used this packaging model                throughout the country, making          modified to make it more powerful.
since the start of our business,” said        competition in this industry tighter.   In addition, the modified line
Mr Jaya.                                      Since the players are competing         uses a screw to push the dough
                                              on their room rates, they need          and to prevent bubbling, and it is
                                              to control their food costs.            equipped with a special vacuum
                                              Consequently, they choose cheaper       pump because the dough is much
                                              processed meat products,” Mr            thicker than sausage dough,” Mr
                                              Mahisa told Asian Meat Magazine.        Mahisa explained.
                                                Beef bacon is an expensive cured
                                                                                      Growing sales
                                              meat product since it is made from
                                              100% meat, mainly from brisket.           Dagsap’s efforts for the smoked
                                              The price of brisket is now around      beef paid off. The product is not
                                              USD 5.76/kg. A kilo of brisket only     only well accepted by its customers
                                              yields 700g of beef bacon, so this      in the hotel industry, but also in the
                                              means production cost is around         modern retail market.
                                              USD 7.20/kg. With margin and              Mr Mahisa revealed that sales
                                              tax added, selling price should be      of the product in modern retail is
The strips version of Dagsap’s smoked beef.   around USD 9/kg.                        picking up. Recently, the product

ASIAN MEAT MAGAZINE – July/August 2018                                                                                         5
ASIAN MEAT - Asian Agribiz

                                                                                    and long
                                                                                    processing time
                                                                                    thus jacking
                                                                                    up the price.
                                                                                    A kilo of raw
                                                                                    salami sells for
                                                                                    about USD 25/
                                                                                    kg, but salami
                                                                                    imported from
                                                                                    Italy is about
                                                                                                         David John Whitehead
                                                                                    USD 60-80/kg.
                                                                                       While cured meat products are
                                                                                    priced quite high, producers say
                                                                                    reducing the price is not an option.
                                                                                       “We will not modify or replace
                                                                                    the meat raw materials used in
The old traditional packaging of Bali      Bali Ananda’s vacuum-packed lapcheong.   production because quality and
Ananda’s pork lapcheong.                                                            food safety are our top priority. We
                                                                                    always comply with regulations on
also won a place in traditional            tonnes of European style cooked          food safety, using meat products
markets.                                   meat products.                           of clear origin,” explained Mr
  Dagsap uses different brands               The market is growing yearly           Whitehead.
for different market channels. The         but tends to do so at a slow pace           “The additives we use are fully
‘Endura’ brand is for the horeca           because of the high cost of the          registered in Vietnam, with the
industry, while ‘Yona’ is for the          product and limited consumption.         proportion and composition used
modern and traditional markets. The        Due to the special characteristics       following government regulations.
formula for both brands however, is        of cured meat products, these            We no longer use nitrites, but
the same.                                  are designed for the premium             instead use a plant-derived
  “Currently we sell 4-5 tonnes            segment made up of higher income         additive, extracted from vinegar or
a month, and sales is growing,”            consumers. Making these products         celery imported from Europe.” AM
he said. “We are happy for this            requires high quality raw materials
achievement. Moreover, many                that meet European standards.
customers said the product has
                                           Order-based production
a unique taste compared to
competitors’ products. This product           There are only a few companies
does not contain monosodium                in Vietnam that produce cured meat
glutamate, we only use salt, sugar         products due to the limited size of
and special spices.”                       this segment.
                                              Mavin Foods, the food production
Vietnam’s cured meat market
                                           arm of Australian Mavin Group,
  Cured meat products in Vietnam           previously provided about 500-
are still quite new to domestic            700 kg of salami and peperoni to
consumers due to their taste and           hotels and restaurants in the north.
specific processing technologies.          However, at present, the company
Products are usually sold at hotels        is not focusing on developing or
or European restaurants with mostly        increasing its market share in the
Western-style diners.                      cured meat segment.
  The supply of cured meat                    “Since the market segment is still
products in Vietnam is mainly              too small and domestic customers
imported from Europe or produced           are still unfamiliar with these types
at a few local factories specialising in   of products, we only produce
European-style food processing.            them based on customers’ orders.
  The ratio of cured meat products         Our current focus is on other
to other cooked meat products such         cooked products such as sausage,
as ham and sausage is currently            bacon and ham,” said David John
small. The Vietnamese market               Whitehead, Mavin Group Chairman.
consumes about 3-5 tonnes a                   According to Mavin Foods, cured
month, out of a total of 2000              meat products require complicated        Dagsap’s smoked beef in vacuum packaging.

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