German food and food equipment in Asia - 3 lessons learned

Food and indulging in food has a different dimension in Asia. What are common practices and habits in Singapore and ASEAN countries?

Ø eating outside in places such as food courts, quick service restaurants and chains – not much food is consumed at home

Ø sharing of portions is very common and portions are much smaller than in Europe

Ø driving or commuting long distances to the favourite food place

Ø knowing about new and happening eating places

Ø queuing for food

Ø food often is savoury, spicy, sometimes oily

Ø "chili pady" is essential as condiment

Ø besides taste, texture, presentation, food freshness plays an important role

Ø there are interesting ways to package food in order to take away such as coffee or chili padi in a clear plastic bag, wrapped and closed with a plastic string

Ø …

There are many and almost endless options to explore, taste, learn about food. It is a journey. Shiok means delicious but expresses the whole culture of food, eating and feeling.

When a company tries to set up business in Asia, especially South East Asia, it should be prepared for a long journey as well.

Building relationships with business partners, organizations and related stakeholders as well as being seen in the market during regular events should be part of the journey.

Guanxi cannot be bought. It needs to be established and is based on respect, acceptance and trustworthiness.

Made in Germany, it doesn’t matter what kind of product or service, has a good reputation and yes, it counts!

However technical equipment for example needs local support and back up.

Prices need to be competitive and usually local sales force works best for local target market.

In another way, to be successful, product benefits need to be explained clearly, price needs to fit in a shorter investment cycle compared to Europe, local service and support needs to be lined up and working seamlessly…