Brunei Halal Brand to expand product range

By Debbie Too, The Brunei Times

Food brand, the Brunei Halal brand, is expected to expand its range of products by early November.

At the moment, the new products are undergoing the final stages of halal certification. They are slated to start production in October.

“Consumers can expect more snacks, chocolates, biscuits and so on and our next range of products will include frozen food,” said Noel Shield, interim chief executive officer of Ghanim International Food Corporation, the company handling the Brunei Halal brand.

Shield said that depending on logistics, some of the products would only be available regionally, while others would go to the European market.

“We will see what products we have being sold in Europe then we will see whether it is possible to bring them to our region,” he said.

Discussions are still being held with retailers in the European market, Shield said.

“Some of the logistics that we have to set up include getting a separate workforce, a distribution warehouse and a full sales team.”

Recently, Wafirah Holdings, the owner of the Brunei Halal brand, held an open house to look for local talent to join its team, and Shield revealed that the company has hired six locals.

“Some will start soon and some have already started, and in our hopes to develop local talent, we hope to let them gain experience by going to our United Kingdom office, which is being set up now,” said the interim CEO.

He added that while he has a team overlooking the expansion of the products, he is overlooking the logistics in the United Kingdom office set up.

The brand had launched a range of products that included dry foodstuffs and sparkling fruit juices. These are sold locally and in Singapore by NTUC FairPrice, which is run by Singapore’s National Trade Union Congress.

Shield said that ever since the products were launched in Singapore, the response has been “quite good” and sales have been “steady”.

“They have also asked us about adding more products to our range of products,” he said.

Shield also said earlier that there was interest for the brand in Australia. He was part of a business delegation that joined the Royal Brunei Airlines’ inaugural flight to Melbourne programme earlier this year.

“The reason why we came to Australia, is to look for more manufacturing supply, and now that we have been here, people have shown an interest on being an agent here in Australia,” he said in April.

He added that if the national brand could work with products that are manufactured and sold in Australia, it would be a “win-win situation”.

Asked about what sort of products will the brand be looking at to expand their range, Shield said that Brunei Halal was looking for Australian manufacturers of dairy products, baby food and “long-term meat products”, which are expected to be a part of the brand’s future range of products.