Catalysing Innovation in Food Manufacturing


The Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA) is set up to develop and promote the local food manufacturing industry. It aims to unite local food manufacturers and connect local and foreign businesses. Supported by SPRING Singapore, IE Singapore, Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, Health Promotion Board, and Asian Culinary Institute Singapore, SFMA organised the Food Innovation Product Award. This competition brought together food manufacturers and food science tertiary students to collaborate and co-create innovative food products. SFMA commissioned Eden Strategy Institute to deliver and manage the capability development process of this competition.


Departing from conventional research-rigorous but time-consuming ways of product development, companies were guided to adopt approaches such as Design Thinking, Lean Launch, and market-driven product development to conceive and refine novel food product ideas.

These sessions helped manufacturers gain competitive advantage by understanding customer behaviours thoroughly, prototyping features quickly and cost-efficiently, and achieving strategic alignment based on their core competencies.

Over several months, the twenty-five participating companies used practical toolkits to innovate and shared their innovation journeys with their peers in an inclusive environment. In addition, they were brought through real-life case studies with external speakers from successful local food brands, market research, and brand consultancies. The participating companies were also encouraged to work closely with the students from higher education institutions to leverage on their creativity and technical skills in testing new food products.


By the end of the process, all participating companies produced a prototype for a taste test and as well as marketing pitches. Some of these innovations include:

  • Local microwavable “Popiah” snack (winner)
  • Local heatable meat jerky
  • Ready-to-eat Instant local pasta sauce packs
  • Healthy black garlic Manuka honey snack in convenient packaging
  • Low GI instant cereal drink
  • Healthy oven-baked meat jerky made with soy pulp
  • Ready-to-use fruit-based salad dressing
Created with Sketch. “The Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association required professional facilitation to bring companies from the industry and students from institutes of higher learning through a structured innovation process over a period of four months. We chose Eden over other providers as Eden was recommended by our colleagues for their prior experiences with food companies. The Eden team knows their content well, and is professional when handling various stakeholders. As a result, we saw 25 successful innovations among participating companies, with already three products successfully launched within months of the engagement with Eden. We’re happy to recommend Eden to other clients because their professionalism and receptiveness allows for good communication and good delivery when multiple stakeholders are involved.”


Ms. Teo Ai Ping Apple


Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association