Brands That Were Made in Malaysia
August 9, 2019 | Blog
It surely comes as no surprise that Malaysians love food whether they’re meals, or snacks. However, there’s often a common misconception that the famous food we consume are imported. On the contrary, most of the famed staples of our childhood – and adulthood – aren’t actually quite that far from home. Here are some brands that began their journeys in Malaysia.
Although BOH has become a household Malaysian name, did you know its founding family were originally from Britain? John Archibald “Archie” Russell was a successful businessman, having built a railway station as well as starting a rubber company and colliery. He and A.B. Milne – a veteran planter from Sri Lanka – started planting tea in Cameron Highlands in the 1920s, the first highlands tea garden in the country, now known as BOH Plantations. “BOH” is derived from Bohea, the name of both the Fujian hills where tea was first thought to have been discovered, as well as a premium tea grade in the early China tea trade. Thanks to the founding family’s commitment to the business, BOH Plantations were retained despite financial difficulties during the World Wars. Today, BOH has expanded to include four plantations, and even boosts its own mascot (Mr. BOH), one of the first televised company mascots in Asia.
Homesickness for Malaysian food is almost inevitable for every student abroad. Thomas Tang, co-founder of Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn Bhd, was no exception. His craving for a bowl of homemade Penang white curry noodles was the driving incentive to the now-famed MyKuali Penang White Curry Instant Noodles. Unique to a recipe that could’ve only been born in Penang, what differentiates it with other regular curry noodles is its exquisite mix of seafood-based broth and creamy coconut milk. With a focus on using traditional natural ingredients, a perfect blend of spices, and authentic tried-and-tested cooking pastes that evoke the distinct flavours of one of Penang’s best noodle dishes, MyKuali has become a prevalent name within the local food scene since its introduction in 2013.
Armed with a second-hand wafer stick machine, brothers SK Tan and LK Tan started producing what would become the renown Munchy’s products of today in Batu Pahat by setting up Munchy Food Industries Sdn Bhd. Further joined by their brothers, CK Tan and Net Tan, the company quickly expanded in both product range and worth, so much so that Munchworld Marketing was set up in 1997 as their sole worldwide distributor to meet global demand. Favoured by Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and, of course, Malaysia, its status as the number 1 homegrown biscuit brand in Malaysia is cemented through its inescapable presence in any household’s kitchen.
Fun fact: During the company’s establishment in 1995, only three products were introduced to the market. Set up in the small town of Desa Serdang, Beryl’s Chocolate and Confectionery Sdn Bhd has now become an international brand that spans across 13 countries. Far from the glamour it’s reached today, Beryl’s beginnings started through manufacturing consumer pack chocolates sold in duty-free shops and supermarkets. Its key to success lay in, and continues to lie in, its use of top-quality ingredients, such as natural vanilla and pure cocoa butter, imported from West Africa. On top of its extensive range of chocolate products, the company also offers chocolate tours through the Beryl’s Chocolate Museum at its headquarters, located in Seri Kembangan.
Are you hungry for a good old Malaysian favourite yet? Just head on over to your nearest Village Grocer to shop any of these brands for a tasty meal or tea time snack!
Keep it fresh,
Your friendly neighbourhood grocer.