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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 5 June 2005

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S.P.F.G Boutique Cafe opens in Changi Airport Terminal 1

Source: www.stb.gov.sg

The Unforgettable Flavours Of Singapore - Designed With Your Health And Tastebuds In Mind

Singapore, a land of diverse races and cultures, has had a plethora of influences on our cuisine, resulting in a myriad of mouth-watering foods to suit even the most discerning taste buds.
Now in its third phase and fourth year running, the Singapore Premium Food Gifts (SPFG) programme has reached a new pinnacle with a range of healthier products added to its stable of favourites.
The entire SPFG range of foodstuffs will now be available for sale ¨C and sampling ¨C at the first-ever concept store in Changi Airport¡¯s Terminal 1.
For the current phase, there are a total of 7 food manufacturers and 24 different products. Since the inception of the programme in 2002, there are now a total of 25 participating food manufacturers with more than 50 SPFG products developed.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and SPRING Singapore (Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board) partnered with the Singapore Food Manufacturers¡¯ Association (SFMA), for this joint programme.
The aim was to package favourite local food as gifts for visitors who want to take home the unforgettable flavours of Singapore, for Singapore travellers who want to share a taste of Singapore with friends abroad and for anyone wishing to recreate a hearty Singaporean meal in the comfort of their own homes.
Singapore Premium Food Gifts are a quintessential and tasty representative of our diverse gastronomic landscape. They showcase the best of our Singaporean delights, from everyday hawker fare such as Nonya laksa and Chinese New Year delicacies like abalone, to the must-have food companion, sambal chilli.
Through this programme, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has enticed the palates of countless visitors, offering them a more diverse range of Uniquely Singapore gifts to buy home.
"Food items have always been popular among our visitors. For the past two years, food items were the second most popular shopping item among our visitors, compared to 2002 and 2001 when it was ranked third. Besides tourists, there are also customers overseas including Singaporeans living abroad, with a passion for "Made-in-Singapore" food. We hope that the wider range of Singapore Premium Food Gifts will take Singapore's unique cuisine and food heritage further afield and help enhance Singapore's position as a gourmet destination," said Mr Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board.
This year, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has come aboard to introduce a new range of healthier SPFG products. This reflects the growing consumer demand for healthier food choices globally, as reported in a recent global survey conducted by ACNielsen across 59 countries.
Dr Lam Sian Lian, CEO of the Heath Promotion Board said, ¡°Foods used as gifts are often rich in fat and calories. The range of Singapore Premium Food Gifts products launched today suggests that consumer preferences are beginning to change. The attractively packaged food gifts such as convenience pastes for laksa and chicken rice would make wonderful gifts ¨C they are not only unique to Singapore and taste good, but are also ¡°lite¡± in fat, salt and sugar. It goes to show that popular local foods can be enjoyed without guilt.¡±
The Health Promotion Board works very closely with the local food manufacturers, assisting in modification of their product formulations to develop healthier products in order to meet the nutritional standards of HPB¡¯s ¡°Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS)¡±. Products approved to carry the HCS are lower in fat and sodium while some are higher in dietary fiber, as compared to similar regular products.
For SPRING Singapore, a key objective of the Singapore Premium Food Gifts programme was to help local food manufacturers move into higher value added products so as to tap larger markets both locally and overseas.
¡°Singapore is well recognised for our high food safety and quality standards.¡± said SPRING Singapore¡¯s Chief Executive, Mr Loh Khum Yean. ¡°Our food manufacturers should leverage on this reputation to innovate and develop higher-value products to increase their export markets. The SPFG programme is an excellent platform, especially for SMEs in the food industry. This reinforces SPRING's strategy to facilitate and fuel the growth of our local enterprises, by offering assistance in product development, packaging and branding so as to build a more competitive and vibrant food sector.¡±
To ensure the success of this programme, these attractively packaged food gifts must be complemented and marketed through effective retail channels.
For the first time, a comprehensive range of the Singapore Premium Food Gifts products will be available in a flagship store, called the S.P.F.G Boutique Cafe that is conceived as a hybrid retail-cum-food and beverage concept.
Thanks to the assistance of SPRING Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board and the Health Promotion Board, and the support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the concept store set up by Vantage Gourmet has recently opened its doors to serve the public.
Located at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1, the gateway for many visitors visiting Singapore and a place where travellers do their last minute shopping for friends and family overseas, the 114 square metre store is an ideal showcase of Singaporean cuisine, aptly located at the Departure Hall.
The unique concept of marrying a cafe and retail outlet allows customers to have a complete local dining and shopping experience. They can see how easily the dishes are prepared on the spot, sample a taste or even enjoy a full meal before deciding what they want to buy at the retail section.
This hybrid store is a sustainable business model that will help ensure continuity and development of the Singapore Premium Food Gifts programme. The opening of the S.P.F.G Boutique Cafe is in itself a milestone for local food manufacturers and is a testament that a government-initiated programme can be sustained by the private sector in the long run.
The meals in the S.P.F.G Boutique Cafe are reminiscent of Singapore¡¯s food centres, with affordable prices ranging between $4 and $6. It offers great value and lives up well to the Singaporean adage ¡°cheap and good¡±. The premium gift packs are priced from $7.90 to $190, and are available in-store.
This third and final phase of the Singapore Premium Food Gifts programme marks an end to the initiative first started by the Singaporean government, but represents a new beginning, whereby the government allows the programme to grow into its own. Singapore Premium Food Gifts aim to cater to the global market area, thus the local food manufacturers will work closely with Vantage Gourmet to continuously innovate and fine tune their products to best suit the changing market demands.

Joint Media Release by STB, SPRING & HPB

Source: Singapore Tourism Board Press Release 27 May 2005

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