Growthwell Foods Launches Singapore’s First Plant-based Protein Innovation, R&D and Manufacturing Facility with High Moisture Extrusion Technology
for Large-scale Production.
Growthwell Foods, a leading manufacturer of plant-based alternatives for meat and seafood for the Southeast Asian market, has launched its Innovation, R&D and Manufacturing Centre at JTC Foodhub Senoko. The centre features Singapore’s first fully automated large-scale production line for plant-based products.
The centre is a step towards realising Growthwell’s goal of contributing to Singapore’s 30 by 30 vision by producing plant based products for the local market here in Singapore. The organisation aims to become Asia’s leading plant-nutrition food tech company, nourishing a 100 million lives through the provision of sustainable and nutritious plant-based food options. The R&D activities at the centre will focus on improving the taste and nutritional properties of its plant-based products. The centre will function as a pilot plant, making Singapore the launchpad for further expansion into other regions with dedicated production in the future.
Not only that, the new facility will also enable Growthwell to further expand its portfolio and offer chefs and consumers even more options. Highlights of the facility include Singapore’s first production-scale High Moisture Extrusion (HME) line owned by a local SME. This HME line will enable Growthwell to significantly improve the texture of its plant-based meat products. The new facility also features Singapore’s first fully automated large-scale production line for plant-based products, which will handle manufacturing, freezing and packaging. The automation enables the company to enjoy greater economies of scale and to offer great quality products at better prices. It will have the ability to produce 4,000 metric tons of products in a single year.
“Growthwell Foods has come a long way since its inception in 1989,” says Justin Chou, Executive Director of Growthwell Foods. “We began as a food solution company catering to the needs of vegetarian consumers. Now, we are looking to harness the potential of a global market hungry for alternative proteins. Well-equipped to handle large-scale production as well as spearhead our own R&D efforts, our facility is poised to shake up the status quo in the plant-based meat industry. We will make Singapore proud by bringing homegrown products on to the global stage!”
Growthwell’s Innovation and R&D Manufacturing Centre will be producing HAPPIEE!, a brand-new, homegrown plant-based range that evokes positivity and inspires active lifestyles. Enjoy nibbling on the snacks while having a picnic or suntanning by the beach. The ingredients are also perfect for complementing your Asian- or western-style homecooked feasts. As they are produced locally, the plant-based nutritious bites will come with an attractive price tag, in turn enticing more consumers to switch to plant-based nutrition and embark on their own sustainable living journeys.
There are four products under the soy-based chicken range: HAPPIEE! Plant-Based Chickiee Nuggets, HAPPIEE! Plant-Based Chickiee Popcorn, HAPPIEE! Plant-Based Chickiee Patties and HAPPIEE! Plant-Based Breaded Chickiee Patties. Made with konjac, the fish range comes with two products: HAPPIEE! Plant-Based Fishiee Sticks and HAPPIEE! Plant-Based Fishiee Patties. All six products are free of trans fat.
Appointed distributors for HAPPIEE! include Country Foods and Indoguna. Country Foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SATS Food Services and one of Singapore’s primary food importers, distributors and manufacturers Country Foods. With over 20 years of experience under its belt and presence in Singapore, Cambodia, and Dubai, Indoguna is a purveyor of gourmet meat, seafood, and artisanal wine. Its vast network includes hotels, cafés and restaurants.
“Country Foods, a 100% SATS subsidiary, is happy to expand its partnership with Growthwell with the introduction of the latter’s quality and innovative range of plant-based protein finished products and meal solutions to its broad customer base of retail, foodservice and institutional clients in Singapore,” says Susan Ng, Country Foods General Manager. “Country Foods has extensive network and insight into the local marketspace and key players, and an established logistical, development and manufacturing infrastructure that will give both companies a strategic advantage in delivering on their ambitious growth plans in Singapore and beyond.”
“Indoguna Singapore, as part of Food Service APME, has 40 years of experience servicing world-class customers,” says Melissa Ng, Senior Business Development Manager, Indoguna Singapore Pte Ltd. “More than just a purveyor of food, we offer in-depth expertise and curate complete solutions for the most complex business needs. With sustainability as a pillar in our business priorities, we are honoured to be at the forefront of the plant-based arena with Growthwell to offer our clients an unparalleled range of protein alternatives, in turn spurring positive changes both for the planet and humankind.”
In 2019, Growthwell invested in ChickP an Israeli food technology startup led by Professor Ram Reifen. (MD, Founder and CSO of ChickP) ChickP developed a proprietary process and technology to make a 90% pure chickpea isolate that
The 90% chickpea isolate is a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids. It has a very mild taste and emulsifying properties that make it a superior ingredient for dairy applications. Unlike other plant protein sources such as soy, wheat and pea, chickpea is a crop that is available in Asia. This allows Growthwell to source ingredients closer to home, shortening the supply chain and making production more environmentally friendly.
Besides the HAPPIEE! range, Growthwell is also poised to launch a new product: Plant-based Salmon Flakes. Made from soy, this product incorporates algae-derived omega-3 oil and achieves its neutrally Note RD. Neutrally or Naturaly looking pinkish colour derived from vegetables. with vegetable powder.
At Growthwell, Research & Development activities are driven by dialogues with chefs, F&B professionals and anchored on customer feedback. Growthwell continues to invest in resources that allow it to better understand the trends that are shaping perceptions of food, in particular the needs, wants and expectations of plant-based foods. Growthwell’s plant based salmon flakes are testimonial to that with chefs and customers both asking for more seafood like options which not only taste good, yet are also healthier. Hundred grams of the newly introduced “HAPPIEE! Salmoniee Flakes” provides adults their daily dose of recommended Omega-3.
Beyond delivering on taste, texture, Growthwell is committed to offering healthier food choices that boast high nutritional value. The R&D team is exploring the use of ingredients such as legumes, algae and plants to provide clean and healthy proteins. Together with the Israeli ChickP team, it will continue to push the boundaries of what ChickP isolate can do to make its products, taste, feel and be better.
The HAPPIEE! range of products is available for foodservices distribution. HAPPIEE! Chickiee Nugget and Popcorn and HAPPIEE! Fishiee Sticks and Patty are planned to also be available in retail stores from 2022 Q1 onwards. The Plant-based Salmon Flakes will first be made available for food services.