As the local operational license holder for Paris Baguette stores in Malaysia, BFood will own a 50 percent part in the joint venture and have exclusive rights.
BFood Group CEO Datuk Sydney Quays stated that although there are several bakeries with Japanese influences on the market, Malaysia does not currently have Paris Baguettes, which are French Korean-inspired. He is convinced that Malaysians would embrace the brand like the consumers in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and France did since it answers a need in the market.
“We put in quite a lot of investment in this (the factory in Johor). We believe that within the Southeast Asia market, Malaysia and Indonesia, the two largest Muslim markets, will be the start. The aim is to support our growth into the Middle East,” said Hana Lee, Southeast Asia CEO, Paris Baguette.
Despite having its regional headquarters for Southeast Asia in Singapore, Lee claimed that the company’s target market is the Muslim market which requires halal certification.
“We want to have the best halal certification and we recognise that the Malaysian Jakim halal certification is one of the most renowned and the best in the region and in the world. We want to make sure that certification is recognised in the Middle East countries as well as the Southeast Asian countries. Also, we wanted to make sure that it’s near to Singapore. In fact, because of the ongoing development, we travel almost weekly to Johor right now. It’s very convenient,” added Lee.
Although the majority of the company’s facilities are now located in South Korea, Lee claimed that the company is making every effort to control expenses by constructing a factory in Malaysia and obtaining the best ingredients at the most competitive prices in order to take advantage of economies of scale.
“We have a lot of proprietary ingredients that are related to bakery items. For bread and pastries, those are proprietary items. But other than that, like what go into a sandwich, such as lettuce, chicken, and tomato, are locally sourced to manage costs,” said Lee.