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IMCD in Southeast Asia

Source:Ringier Food

Date Published:11/22/2016 09:11:53 PM

Michael Petersen, Managing Director, IMCD Thailand/Regional Business Development Director, talks about the company’s services and shares his view of the ASEAN market for ingredients.
IN THIS interview, Michael Petersen, Managing Director, IMCD Thailand/Regional Business Development Director, talks about the company’s services and shares his view of the ASEAN market for ingredients.
 
What does IMCD offer its partners in the food and beverage industry? What is the nature of this partnership?  
IMCD uses a rich and innovative product portfolio, long-standing experience and market and application knowledge of over 100 technical and commercial experts to offer best-in-class food and beverage solutions and services to its partners. By fully understanding their recipes, applications and processes, and thanks to our team of food technologists, we deliver success to our business partners who value brands, intimacy and expertise. 
These partnerships are based on trust and transparency, with IMCD undertaking a shared approach in order to work towards a common goal and satisfy agreed business objectives.  
 
As a distributor, IMCD works with various ingredients suppliers. How is this setup ideal for all parties involved?  
IMCD’s customers in the food and nutrition market benefit from a comprehensive and complementary product portfolio from leading Principal partners. This essentially allows IMCD to serve as a ‘one-stop 
shop’ for customers, as they are able to source all the ingredients they require from a single, reliable partner. In return, by offering a more extensive product portfolio from a variety of suppliers, IMCD is 
able to significantly enhance and improve the customer coverage and local market intelligence for its Principal partners.  
 
Michael Petersen, Managing Director, IMCD Thailand/Regional Business Development Director
 
How big has the IMCD network grown since it began expanding into Asia, and specifically the ASEAN? 
IMCD’s Asia-Pacific organization has rapidly developed over the last five years, both organically and through a number of key acquisitions. IMCD now has a strong network of offices, warehouses and 
laboratories across the region, including in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines and most recently Japan. Despite this international infrastructure, IMCD retains local focus 
through the in-depth market knowledge and cultural sensitivity of its employees across Asia.  
 
Being in touch with suppliers and customers gives you a wide-angle view of the market. What are your observations about ASEAN growth in particular? 
The ASEAN growth story is one of significant diversity with Thailand leading on innovation and Indonesia on volume. 
 
The global trends have more or less been the same, with manufacturers wanting to produce better and healthier products. How do you see these unfolding in 2017? Is there anything new to 
look forward to? 
IMCD believes the global trend towards better and healthier foods will remain paramount coming into next year. As an example, Food technologists from IMCD’s market-focused labs have identified healthy snacks as a major influencer on food product development, as conventional home dining is becoming less common and healthy ‘on-the-go’ snacking takes its place.  From convenient solutions replacing traditional breakfasts to pouches and packaging that allow fast access to tasty and nutritious lunches and dinners. Similarly, IMCD also recognizes an increasing trend towards healthier fats and less processed/naturally occurring sugars, which is expected to continue into the near future.  
 
What challenges do ingredient suppliers experience doing business in ASEAN? Has there been better progress this year?  
One of the biggest challenges an ingredient supplier can face in ASEAN territories is the creation, nurturing and retention of a high quality team. This is an area where IMCD is able to bring value-added 
support, as we aim to serve as an extension of our supplier’s technical, sales and marketing functions. This is achieved through both our high-caliber technical sales personnel as well as through our market-
focused laboratories.  A key development in ASEAN has been IMCD’s newly opened food application lab in Indonesia, which is expected to further enhance our services and provide long-lasting support 
to our partners locally.  
 
What is the single most important advice you can give suppliers of food/beverage ingredients venturing into the ASEAN?  
Our advice to suppliers of food/beverage ingredients venturing into ASEAN markets would have to be to invest in the right local people. At IMCD we believe our people to be our biggest and most important asset, and therefore invest in first-class local people who understand the local needs, requirements and trends. With IMCD’s global experience and expertise, these market specialists offer innovative and tailored solutions to meet 
customers’ specific local requirements, therefore playing a vital role in maintaining and expanding the company’s relationships with its partners.  

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