viet ribbon7.16The men (L-R): Anil Bhuwanla (business head, Asia, Food Empire), Tan Wang Cheow (executive chairman, Food Empire). Sudeep Nair (CEO, Food Empire).

viet toast7.16
viet grouptoast7.16A toast from guests and staff.Photos: Food Empire

COFFEE DRINKING is a part of daily life in Vietnam. That's not a surprise as the country is one of the world's top exporters of coffee.

With a population of about 94 million people, it is a market that Food Empire has found a firm footing in with its 3-in-1 coffee.

viet7.16aIn the last two years, Food Empire's key SKU in Vietnam, Cafe Pho, has turned the country into the main contributor under the category of "Indochina" in the company's financial statements.

In its 1Q2016 results, Food Empire said Indochina sales increased by 43.4% year-on-year to US$8.6 million due to wider distribution channels, aggressive advertising and promotion activities.

cafepho8.15Cafe Pho -- the key selling SKU of Food Empire in Vietnam was launched in June 2013.

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viet bosses7.16 Sudeep Nair (CEO, Food Empire) with Tan Wang Cheow (executive chairman, Food Empire).

In comparison, Russia, which is the long-time No.1 market for Food Empire, contributed US$24.4 million in revenue in 1Q.

The 1Q16 growth in Indochina came in the wake of an excellent growth of 181% in Indochina revenue to US$29.4 million for the entire year of 2015.

Signalling its ambition to continue to grow significantly in Vietnam, Food Empire has purchased, and moved to, a new and expanded office in Ho Chi Minh city last month (June).

viet plaza7.16Pearl Plaza, where Food Empire's Vietnamese office is located.This adds to Food Empire's investment in the country, where for some years already it has been operating a manufacturing plant for instant coffee located in Singapore Industrial Park in Binh Duong.