Picking the right suppliers is crucial to the success of any F&B company, especially in the pandemic era where global supply chain disruptions and rising ingredient costs pose huge challenges. Here’s how Chef’s Pantry helped GS Asia overcome these issues by providing quality ingredients at affordable prices.

Pandemic Challenges For Singapore F&B:

Recurring lockdowns, zero footfalls, and changing dining restrictions have led many F&B companies to pivot to online deliveries.

Manpower shortages, energy price increase and ingredient price increase have added more cost pressures “specifically in the range of 30% and more collectively” says the Restaurant Association of Singapore.1 In fact, prices of some essential items have risen by as much as 20% over the past three to six months2.

As a result, F&B sales registered a year-on-year decline of 26% in 20203 and at least 3,440 F&B businesses shut down during the pandemic from December 2019 to June 2021, according to Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong4.

Humble Dumpling Beginnings

Jason Wang, director of Yongle, was an engineer who decided to venture into F&B. He started Yongle in 2016 (now known as GS Asia). It all started as a food stall selling frozen dumplings. The initial focus was ecommerce business mainly targeted Chinese nationals through WeChat, then production was increased to supply mala hotpot stalls and restaurants.

While Chinese nationals were the main target audience in the beginning, Wang hopes to win over a larger Singaporean market. They’ve introduced thinner skin dumplings like wanton, worked with Singapore influencer home cooks and started selling their products on Shopee, Lazada and NTUC FairPrice marketplace. With the pandemic these past 2 years, they had to be very responsive in order keep pace with changes in consumer habits and become more focused on their online business. With rising cost, they were also open to looking at ways to reduce their ingredient cost without compromise in quality. They’ve successfully done that and has emerged stronger in 2022.

Why GS Asia Chose Chef’s Pantry?


Costs Savings

GS Asia currently buys flour, oil and sugar from Chef’s Pantry because of the competitive pricing it offers compared to other suppliers. “The flour is cheaper yet the quality of the flour is the same as what we were originally using,” shares Wang. During Covid-19 and Circuit Breaker, Chef’s Pantry maintained the prices of ingredients to help food companies sustain their business so that they can continue to offer quality products to their consumers at the same value.


A Reliable Source To Enable Smooth Operations

“We were worried during Covid as there were delays and scarcity of ingredients. Chef’s Pantry never fails us, and always delivers on time. So we don’t need to stop production under any unforeseen circumstances. This is important for food manufacturers,” says Wang.


A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Close relationships between suppliers and businesses could create significant value for everyone as seen from the strong collaboration between GS Asia, Chef’s Pantry and the wider FairPrice Group. In 2021, GS Asia tapped into FairPrice Group’s 14,000 strong pool of employees with a 15% discount that could be used online.


Customer Service & Contact-ability

“Good communication is important and Chef’s Pantry sales representatives are always easily accessible throughout the day. They respond to queries or feedback in a timely manner and when there are any unforeseen challenges, they will always do their best to find a possible solution. As a business owner, this is an attitude I appreciate,” shares Wang.


Convenience of Delivery

GS Asia orders flour weekly from Chef’s Pantry. Chef’s Pantry delivers the huge orders by pallets and the products are cling wrapped for greater convenience and hygiene.

As the F&B industry continues to embrace the changes in the future, one of the best things a F&B business owner can do is to work with the right supplier, who can partner you for success.

Source: 1,2,4 Channel News Asia, 3. Singapore Department of Statistics.

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