If you are expecting to see Milo and Maggi in this list, nope, they are owned and distributed by multi-national conglomerate Nestle which is headquartered in Switzerland.
The same goes for Gardenia which is originated from Singapore, or Dutch Lady with its roots in the Netherlands. Farm Fresh is local though but it’s not big in export yet.
However, there are a couple of homegrown brands which you might think are imported, for example, Munchy’s, MAMEE, Mister Potato, Vochelle, Life Sauces, and so on.
These food product brands are not only popular in Malaysia, they are also exported to international markets so don’t be surprised to spot them on the shelves when you travel overseas.
From biscuits, snacks, chocolates, sauces to cooking pastes, let’s find out which popular Malaysian food brands are available internationally, not including cross-border Malaysian F&B chains.
It is worth noting that most of the food manufacturing companies listed here are very sizable, with two of them being acquired for more than RM 1 billion respectively.
Started in 1991, Munchy’s is the number 1 homegrown biscuit brand in Malaysia. Available in more than 50 countries, Munchy’s has been acquired by URC from the Philippines for RM1.925 billion in 2021.
Founded by an ex-accountant in Malacca, Julie’s is another popular biscuit brand from Malaysia sold in 80 countries. Interestingly, Julie’s hired 100 employees in China to solely handle the online business there.
MAMEE is also founded in Malacca back in 1974 by the Pang family. The chicken and curry flavoured noodle snacks are hugely popular across generations in Malaysia and are exported to over 100 countries worldwide.
Not content with MAMEE, the Pang family launched Mister Potato in the 90s. The potato chip brand is now contributing 70% of the group’s revenue thanks to its global marketing and export strategy.
OLDTOWN White Coffee
Established in 1999, OLDTOWN White Coffee operates café chain, manufactures and distributes instant coffee. Serving more than 13 countries, OLDTOWN has been acquired by JDE (a Dutch company) at RM1.47 billion.
Vochelle is one of the house brands of Maestro Swiss Group which also carries other brands (like Vico) that are available in 17,000 retail stores in Malaysia and also exported to more than 20 countries.
Beryl’s started out by manufacturing chocolates that were sold mainly to duty-free shops and supermarkets. Fast forward to today, Beryl’s chocolates can be found in over 15 countries around the world.
Established in 1978, Life Sauces is Malaysia’s largest sauce brand and the company was acquired by KFC Holdings (now QSR) in 1994. Life chili and tomato sauces are also exported to 26 countries.
Founded in 1908 by Mr Lingam (that’s right) in Penang, the brand name and recipe are retained even with the changes of ownership. Available in just 6 flavours, Lingham is popular in the UK and sold in 27 countries.
BABA’S is Malaysia’s leading curry powder and spice brand, capturing 60% of the Malaysian market. Today, BABA’S can be found in North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and most of Southeast Asia.
Founded by the brother of Malaysia’s fifth prime minister and a Japanese entrepreneur in 1986, Brahim’s today is a leading instant retort pouched foods brand in Malaysia which is also available in Japan and USA.
Started as a family-run business that made and sold home-made traditional pastries in the 60s, Kawan Food is now the largest frozen Asian food delicacies manufacturer in Malaysia with 37 export countries.