Flanders Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM) brought together five major Belgian fries exporters to exhibit as a group at the 15th Food & Hotel Malaysia (FHM)Exhibition, held from 24 – 27 September 2019 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
The five Belgian companies; Agristo, Bart’s Potato Company, Clarebout Potatoes, Ecofrost and Mydibel participated under the “Belgian Fries” banner to widen their networks and increase their share in Malaysia’s growing market for processed potato products and at the same time to heighten awareness of Belgian fries in Malaysia and across the South East Asian region.
These five companies represent the five biggest family-owned businesses in the industry in Belgium offering a wide range of potato products and specialties that are exported to over 100 countries world-wide. Their participation in the annual FHM 2019 is part of a five-nation promotion campaign in Southeast Asia, coordinated by VLAM and Belgapom, the association for the Belgian potato trade and processing industry.
“Hot on the heels of exhibiting in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore, we are pleased to bring Belgian fries to Malaysia this time round, as part of our plan to increase our presence in the Southeast Asian region. There is an existing market in this region for our products, but we see an even bigger opportunity to expand exports and heighten appreciation for our national delicacy. South East Asia is one of the largest fast-growing regions in the world, with a rising middle class, rapid urbanization and an overall young population. With these complimenting trends, together with Belgium’s high food standards and innovation, will continue to drive demand in the region and beyond, and our industry is ready to reply to this in an original way, since our Belgian fries are truly different from those from other countries,” said Mr. Romain Cools Secretary General from Belgapom.
Belgium is the largest exporter of frozen fries in the world, with 90% of its production freighted to the global market. In 2018, Belgian companies processed an astonishing 5 million tonnes of potatoes.
He added, “Malaysia is well-known as a food-lover’s paradise, and the consumers really know and love good food. Belgian fries are still relatively unknown in Malaysia, so we are excited about this opportunity to share one of Belgium’s most beloved national dishes with Malaysia. Golden yellow and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, Belgian fries, or frites, as we call them, are a true Belgian delicacy that is delicious either as a side served with steak, or as an appetizing snack with a mayonnaise-based sauce!”
Belgian fries have a long history and have become part of the country’s heritage, with many shops and stands in Belgium serving this delicious savory snack. In fact, the ubiquitous Belgian fry shops that can be found in every city or village have been recognised as part of the cultural landscape in Belgium, with UNESCO status being sought for the dish since 2014.
For more information, please visit www.originalfries.eu or www.jamesbint.be