AS technology further takes its grip on businesses post-Covid-19 pandemic, Incite Foodtech Sdn Bhd, a food-tech venture, is moving with the technology flow to expand its customer base and market reach.
The company is leveraging on big data in a big way, among others, to analyse customer needs and tastes and beef up its marketing and branding initiatives.
On big data, Incite Foodtech chief operating officer Eugene Chew tells StarBizWeek that by analysing customers’ sentiments and needs, it helps in building the right brands to offer foodies a gratifying experience.
By gaining a deeper understanding of demographics and purchasing power via big data, he says it helps the company launch its brands and make menus affordable for specific locations of target customers.
He says big data too has helped the company to optimise its business model by ensuring that it has the correct sized team to provide the best results, and most importantly, assist in fighting the war on waste.
In terms of marketing and branding, he adds that big data helps in micro segmenting customers and reach out to each of those segments by running concentrated marketing campaigns using information from all advertising channels, including social media, websites, landing pages, emails and blogs.
Chew describes the company as a full-fledged food-tech venture and among the first to adopt this concept.
“We have outlets in various formats, a production hub, a culinary academy, a coffee roastery and a technology set-up. The company believes it is ahead of the curve since we anticipate that more players will come up with similar concepts.
“In addition, we create and acquire quick-serving-food (QSF) brands that satisfy customer needs and sentiments by leveraging on big data and have a group of industry specialists from food and beverage (F&B), technology, hospitality, banking and finance, logistics, marketing and creative arts.
“Besides physical outlets, we have outlets in other formats like kiosks, space sharing and cloud kitchens. With our unique business model, ‘plug-in and scale’, it enables us to supercharge our QSF brands and development in a variety of formats,” he adds.
Elaborating on the plug-in and scale model, Chew says aside from accelerating the growth of the QSF brands, Incite Foodtech also offers its brands to F&B creators and establishments as part of their offerings.
He says this is where they can plug-in (integrate) the company’s brands into their cafe/F&B concept, which is shared space, cloud kitchen or as new add-ons to their menu.
At the same time, he says they can also leverage Incite Foodtech’s production hub and engagement app to up their business growth and drive higher revenue.
At present, Chew says it has 18 Union Artisan Coffee outlets in the country and plans to expand it to 25 by year-end.
He says the company targets to open five to eight outlets per year starting next year.
The first store for its new brands – Hope Coffee and Eggdicted – is scheduled to open this month, with a total of five locations planned by the end of the year.
Incite Foodtech’s other existing brands such as Wondermama, Le Claire, Halley and Lada Merah are being scaled as virtual brands domestically and globally.
As for overseas expansion, he says, “We will venture into India this year.
“Recently, we signed a master licence agreement with India’s First co-fooding platform Village Food Courts, a Village Groupe venture.
“Union Artisan Coffee together with Hope Coffee, Le Claire, Eggdicted and Lada Merah will be available in major cities throughout India. We intend to launch these brands in five new locations there each year.”
Chew says besides India, it will be expanding to other countries in Asia this year.
He says the company plans to launch two new brands in the region, bringing the total number of QSF brands to 10 and expand its footprint to 50 locations in Asia.
On another note, he says Incite Foodtech is pursuing to obtain halal certification from the relevant authorities, as it intends to penetrate the global halal market where halal cuisine is in high demand.
Incite Foodtech, which is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, was formed by a group of experts in different sectors in 2020.