BAKERY & FLOUR – CONFECTIONARY TRENDS IN MALAYSIA
WITH FOCUS ON MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT, SKILLS & TRENDS – POTENTIAL & CHALLENGES
The Malaysian bakery industry is a very dynamic and fast moving industry with an estimated total of several thousands of baked goods suppliers in the country, which includes stand-alone smaller bakeries, commercial bakeries, home bakeries, and F&B outlets with own bakery production lines. High-end hotels are producing own baked goods for hotel customers as well as events and conventions taking place in the hotels, and also for sale in expensive coffee shops in the hotel lobbies.
Industry players, however, take this number as only a good guess, as new bakeries and other outlets with own productions lines are being set up continuously. At the same time, a good number of these businesses, especially the smaller and independent outlets, also find it challenging to survive in the long run.
The Malaysian market has seen positive growth of baked goods due to the products being more and more consumed at either breakfast, tea breaks or even lunch in place of rice and noodles. Many of the younger generations, who have been exposed to western cultures, have acquired the habit of increasingly accepting bread as a staple food.
Baked goods available on the Malaysian market can be characterized as extremely versatile and come in all sorts of varieties, tastes and shapes with a fusion of different flavors and ingredients from the various cultures in the country, combined also with western influence. Heavily influenced also by Taiwanese bakery and flour-confection trends, Malaysian breads and buns tend to be soft and fluffy, as compared to, for example, European bread with a harder and more solid texture. Suppliers as well as consumers are very willing to give new tastes a try, leading to continuous development of new ideas and creations.
Unlike in Europe where the necessary bakery knowledge and skills go mostly from one generation to the next, especially in long-standing and conventional family-owned bakeries, many bakeries and cafés in Malaysia are investor-owned, who hire bakery professionals to run the operations. Larger bakeries, who can afford to do so, also work with foreign chefs, who then pass their expertise and know-how to the local team.
There is only a handful of technology and machinery distributors in the country, who are specialized in solely supplying bakery technology and machinery. Other distributors offer mostly a mixed range of products consisting of machinery and equipment for other industries as well. Taiwanese bakery machinery is widely used in Malaysia due to its lower price, as compared to European technology.
Although European technology and machinery are generally known for their high quality with a longer lifespan and higher efficiency, pricing remains a main consideration factor when it comes to making the decision to finally seal a purchase. Therefore, it is important for European technology providers to be able to accommodate the market in terms of pricing.
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