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Martin Wong - Khaishen Trading

Tight competition for Malaysian produce importers

The Malaysian produce market is a complicated market. There are multiple players importing various produce from different continents. What makes the Malaysian market interesting is the different behaviors exhibited by the different market segments.

Procurement Manager Martin Wong of Khaishen Trading in Malaysia says, “Khaishen knows the different segments very well. First, we have the premium market. In this market we are doing well so far. We know that these guys are quality, size, health and taste conscious. It’s also a plus if you are able to say that your products are organic. For the middle market – this segment also wants quality products but they only tend to spend between 8 – 10 USD on fresh produce in the grocery. The last is the low segment, they prefer small sizes and value for money. ”

Khaishen is consistently looking to strengthen their network of suppliers from different countries as alternatives for any shortages experienced from their consistent suppliers. “We get our persimmon from Spain, pomegranate from Europe and peaches & pears from China. For apple, we usually buy from South Africa. This is what our market prefers and we have been doing good business with them in the past. If we have problems we always have the option of buying from alternative suppliers, for example for apples, we can buy from China or New Zealand. One example of using alternative suppliers is our current situation for oranges with South Africa, right now its citrus exports are down by almost 50%. Therefore we have to look at a different supplier, such as Australia,” Wong adds.



“Our company is seeking out different opportunities for certain produce for the Malaysian market. We have recently entered a very competitive industry – bananas. We have also seen the rise of figs in the country; this is why we have been importing figs from Turkey. Vegetables have also been an opportunity which we have started but not yet capitalized on.”

Wong emphasizes that it is important to always be visible to their customers. Khaishen needs to have some materials in the fresh department and at the point of sale in order to draw attention to the product. And what is also important for them is packaging innovation. “The customers are very particular with packaging. This is why our company studies the cost structure very well, so that the packaging is always presentable to the end consumer with proper labeling.”



One of Khaishen's biggest advantages is their own internal design team, who keep innovating on their packaging designs, which their competitors don’t usually do. “It is quite difficult to become a leader in our industry. Right now there are a lot of players and it is so easy for one importer to simply develop a pricing strategy to undercut the other players. Therefore companies such as ours should focus not just on our produce but building our brand, investing in packaging, proper marketing and attracting exclusive business agreements with suppliers.”

For more information:
Martin Wong
Khaishen Trading (Malaysia)
Tel: 00603-6120-6171
Email: khaishentrading.martin@gmail.com
www.khaishen.com


Publication date: 10/12/2017
Author: Yzza Ibrahim
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


 


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