Capitalizing on convenience: Malaysia’s Golden Fresh innovates with ease
For 50 years, Golden Fresh Sdn Bhd of Malaysia has refined its talent for product innovation, to the point where conceptualizing popular new seafood offerings for markets all around the world is the company's strongest suit.
Golden Fresh, which is behind the Pacific West and Subi brands, has won major awards for the creativity of its products, including in 2017, when the company was honored with the Seafood Excellence Global Award for Innovation for its Kuro Prawns. Sporting a distinct charcoal bamboo crust, the Kuro Prawns – created by chef Garry Edson on behalf of Golden Fresh – pay homage to Japanese and Asian cuisine, and continue to be well-received by foodservice operators worldwide, who regard the product as a unique appetizer and bar snack standout.
This year, Golden Fresh won the 2019 Seafood Excellence Global Award for Convenience, handed out in Brussels, Belgium last month during Seafood Expo Global. A new group of judges found the company’s Prawn in Hor Mok Thai Coconut Sauce remarkable in its simple, efficient approach to achieving a nuanced, savory meal. The product, which includes prawns and sauce packed in individual portion bags that can be quickly microwaved without thawing and served with zero waste, allows for “any foodservice operation to serve authentic Thai flavors with little labor,” the judges said.
Golden Fresh has big plans for Prawn in Hor Mok Thai Coconut Sauce, confirmed Tang Cho Sun, the company’s manager of business development – most notably regarding the types of customers who get to experience its convenience first-hand.
“What excites us about this Convenience award is that it has actually met with our goal as far as trying to provide good solutions to not only the foodservice sector, but in the retail sector as well,” Cho Sun told SeafoodSource. “At retail, [these products] can be cooked in a jiffy, just three to four minutes in a microwave oven and it’s done. It can go with spaghetti, it can go with rice, it can go with noodles."
The product’s packaging plays a major role in its versatility, Cho Sun explained, highlighting the dual-function bag, which has “tiny holes whereby the steam can be released from the pouch, so that it will not burst,” whether cooked in the oven or in a microwave. The end result is that customers of all culinary skillsets can enjoy a dish complete with quality seafood and genuine Thai-inspired tastes, noted Cho Sun.
“The best part about this dish is that it has a very authentic and high in flavor,” he said.
Norway, which has already launched the product in its foodservice sector, plans to introduce it at retail “in the near future,” Cho Sun said. The European country represents just one market Golden Fresh has targeted for growth in 2019 – expansion in Japan, the United States, and China are also spotlighted for this year.
“We are looking at growing our market in China, especially the online business,” Cho Sun said. “As far as new markets are concerned, we are actually looking to grow rapidly in the U.S.”
With the Tokyo Olympics on the horizon for 2020, Cho Sun said that Golden Fresh is looking forward to increasing its presence there: “We are looking into expanding our product range in Japan, because of the Tokyo Olympics coming in 2020. You can imagine the volume they will be accepting from exporters all over the world.”
The company’s global network includes Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Mauritius, South Africa, Hong Kong, Taiwan, UAE, Lebanon, Singapore, the Philippines, Cyprus, China, Germany, Norway, the United States, Canada, Poland, Japan, and Iran. Recently, Golden Fresh has seen “tremendous growth in New Zealand,” according to Cho Sun, because of high demand for its Aquaculture Stewardship Council- and Marine Stewardship Council-certified products.
Seafood certifications have allowed for Golden Fresh to reach an array of global marketplaces. In addition to offering ASC and MSC products, the company also boasts certifications from the British Retail Consortium, IFS Food, HACCP, HALAL, and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
“Because of our global certifications like BRC and IFS, we have been able to export our products to many, many places in the world,” Cho Sun said.
“The Malaysian HALAL certification is one of the much sought-after certifications for the global Muslim community,” he added. “It has a very high regard.”
Cho Sun attributed a part of Golden Fresh’s existing growth in places such as Norway, Germany, and Japan, to the company’s first Seafood Excellence Global Award win back in 2017.
“Because of the award, we have actually expanded the outreach to Norway, Germany, and Japan,” he said. As such, the firm is anticipating further expansion to come courtesy of its 2019 success.
Golden Fresh’s product portfolio has over 300 entries, including Crispy Battered Fish Fillet, Fish Sticks, Salt & Pepper Squid Chunk, Tempora Prawn, and more. The company’s clients include IKEA, Aldi, Carrefour, and others. Its seafood has been sold at several major sporting events including the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the Rugby World Cup, and the Wimbledon Championship for tennis.