Perfect Food Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd, the maker of Julie’s biscuits, which has gone through daunting challenges in 2008, is on track to meet its targeted sales of RM500 million in the next five years.
Its director Martin Ang said the biscuit manufacturer is currently going through an expansion at its three plants located in Malacca, which includes acquiring of new machineries to improve its productivity to cater demand in both domestic and international markets. Ang said the expansion could cost between RM20 million and RM30 million.
“We went through a nightmare in 2008 due to the melamine incident, and it has caused the company to face a RM14 million loss due to recalled biscuits and our products were banned in some countries,” Ang told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview recently.
“We managed to bounce back after the melamine issue. The Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) has assisted and supported us during the incident.
Then we actively participated in international expos organised by Matrade, which helped to elevate Julie’s brand exposure into the international market,” he said.
He said strong branding and marketing strategy also helped the company builds its branding and achieve favourable sales. In 2014, he said the company saw RM280 million sales, up 30% compared to 2013.
“2010, 2011, 2012 were busy years for us. We invited our international and local distributors, retailers and sundry shops to visit our plants in Malacca. This was to show how we manufacture our products.
It was a turning point for us, where it helped to return confidence on our products,” he said.
“After visiting our plants, they actually were surprised to see our manufacturing process, the cleanliness and stringent checking. This has restored the confidence on our products and managed to slowly improve our sales,” he said, adding that the company is on track to achieve its targeted RM500 million sales driven by strong branding and marketing strategy.
Besides that, he said the company also goes through regular audit to comply with all the food safety standards. “We still have the capacity to cater to the demands here and in the international markets.
The utilisation rate in our factories is 50% now. “We are anticipating the utilisation rate to increase between 70% and 80%. We are starting the expansion from now which include new machineries,” he said.
“We will continue to participate in international exhibitions to build our brand name in the international markets. Now, we are already in more than 70 markets.
So, we are targeting to make presence in 100 countries by 2020,” he added. In the last six years, he said the company had only exported to less than 35 countries.
Currently, it is exporting to Asean, East Asia, Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. He said Perfect Food expects its overseas revenue to increase to 55% of total revenue within two years lead by strong strategy expanding into foreign markets.
Following its success in the international and local market, he said Julie’s were hand-picked by the famous American chocolate brand, Hershey’s, for an international collaboration. Ang said the most sellable products include peanut butter biscuits, love letter wafer sticks and butter crackers.