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Enterprise Singapore launches digital initiatives at Food & Hotel Asia 2018

Digital initiatives from Enterprise Singapore in support of Singapore food companies in accessing global markets and improving efficiency.

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Published by Enterprise Singapore
on 26 Apr 2018

Navigating the Dynamic F&B Landscape with New Technologies in the Information Age

1.      To support Singapore food and beverage (F&B) and food manufacturing companies in adopting technology to capture new overseas opportunities and improve operational efficiencies, Enterprise Singapore has introduced new digital initiatives at the Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) 2018.   


2.      The new digital initiatives launched include: 

a) B2B online platform for food manufacturers

Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Manufacturing federation (SMF) launched the SMF SMART App at the Singapore Pavilion at FHA, to make it easier, faster and more convenient for food manufacturers to export overseas. The B2B online platform facilitates consolidation of online orders for overseas buyers and provides features such as traceability and authentication of products. 


In addition, Enterprise Singapore and SMF have extended the reach of the Singapore Pavilion beyond the physical limits of FHA by bringing it onto Alibaba.com. This allows buyers to browse the Singapore products and indicate business interest. (Refer to Annex 1 for details)


b) RESTAURANT 3.0 for F&B companies

RESTAURANT 3.0 at FHA 2018 showcases the newer technologies that F&B companies can adopt. It presents how digital, robotics and technologyenabled modular systems can improve the overall supply chain of food services - from farm, processing and production (back-of-house) to service at the table (front-of-house).  The showcase is a multi-party collaboration by Enterprise Singapore, Workforce Singapore, Singapore Productivity Centre and Restaurant Association of Singapore. (Refer to Annex 2 for details.)


Annex 1: B2B online platform for food manufacturers Annex 2: RESTAURANT 3.0



Enterprise Singapore and SMF launch B2B digital app for food manufacturers to export to Southeast Asia more easily.


Singapore food manufacturers can now export their products to overseas buyers more conveniently through a new digital B2B smart app conceptualised and executed by Enterprise Singapore and the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF). The smart app supports food manufacturers in gaining greater access to markets such as Southeast Asia as it allows for easier consolidation of online orders and checks on authenticity of products purchased. Launched at the Singapore Pavilion at the Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) 2018, visitors at the show can use this smart app to scan barcodes of physical products to view more product details and checkout via the smart app.


Additionally, to extend the reach of the Singapore Pavilion beyond the physical show, Enterprise Singapore and SMF introduced an online Singapore Pavilion on Alibaba.com. This enables the products to be showcased on a globally recognised business-to-business platform where overseas buyers can browse Singapore products and indicate business interest.


Key highlights of the SMF SMART App developed by Singapore technology company iSprint Innovations:

•        Easy consolidation of online orders for overseas buyers, where buyers can use    the app to either scan the barcode of physical products at FHA, or access the SMF Digital Marketplace[1] on the app

•        Automatic checks on quantities of product/s required to fill each shipping    container through the shipping cubic meter calculation function

•        Authentication of Singapore products with a track and trace function via the    use of QR code and IT security technology

•        Reduced paperwork for food manufacturers with online procurement process


Mr Sunny Koh, Deputy President of SMF and Chairman of the F&B Industry Group, said, “Today’s launch of the digital initiatives enhances the effectiveness of our WIP programme2. They will further benefit our SMEs in reaching out to users overseas including Southeast Asia. The track and trace function of the SMF SMART App also helps prevent counterfeit of goods. It is definitely a win-win situation for all sellers and buyers locally and globally, and the overall promotion of an authentic and quality Singapore brand.”


Ms Kee Ai Nah, Executive Director of Lifestyle & Consumer Cluster, Enterprise Singapore, said, “Enterprise Singapore’s partnership with SMF enables Singapore SMEs to capture more overseas opportunities by making the buyer’s procurement process easier through the use of technology. SMF has been proactive and forwardlooking in driving tech adoption; we hope to work with other TACs to implement such digital initiatives to benefit our SMEs collectively.”


The SMF SMART App was launched by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry & National Development, Dr Koh Poh Koon. Currently, there are 103 Singapore companies with 871 products on board the SMF SMART App and SMF Alibaba.com platforms. SMF is working to bring in more food manufacturers on board and exploring the feasibility of extending the digital initiatives to other industries. The digital initiatives are supported through Enterprise Singapore’s Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) programme [2].



[1] Details of Singapore products will be listed on the SMF Digital Marketplace for buyers to view.  2 The WIP programme is a partnership between Enterprise Singapore and SMF to enable different Singapore food products to be consolidated in containers and exported to overseas retailers/importers through direct shipment.


[2] The Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) Programme aims to enhance industry and enterprise competitiveness. Through partnerships with industry associations that are willing to take the lead in industry development and drive initiatives to improve the overall capabilities of SMEs in their industries, LEAD provides focused and customised support at the industry level. 



SMF Smart App Jpeg




With over 160,000 workers, the food services industry is a sizeable employer contributing 5% of total employment in Singapore. Efficient technology-enabled processes are critical as this can improve workflow, enhance the working environment for staff and retain employees with the right skills and aptitude. As of end-2017, more than a third of food outlets in Singapore are already adopting technology such as digital services and kitchen automation.


RESTAURANT 3.0 at Food and Hotel Asia 2018 showcases some of the newer technologies that F&B companies can deploy. These include digital, robotics and technology-enabled modular systems that improve the overall supply chain – from farm to processing and production (back-of-house), to service at the table (front-of-house).  



1. Urban farming

F&B operators and hoteliers can experiment on an urban farming solution to grow their own vegetables and herbs in a controlled environment. Such a solution caters to customers’ increased preference for fresh ingredients and healthier food. The solution can also help create a novel dining experience.


2. Outsourcing of food preparation

F&B outlet kitchens can be made much more efficient with the concept of outsourcing parts of the meal preparation to larger and better-equipped central kitchens, operated by food manufacturers.


By outsourcing some or all food production to central kitchens, smaller F&B operators can do without hefty investments in fully-equipped kitchens. In addition, kitchen staff would have more time to review menu items, and work with the manufacturer to serve consistently good food. This could apply to hotels as well.


3. Ready Meals

The concept of ready meals is not new. Today, many successful F&B operators use this model, by leveraging a central kitchen, to enable lean operations, where kitchen assistants only heat up, plate and serve. This way, back-of-house manpower can be reduced and the chef’s time is freed up for menu engineering.


By extension, the concept of ready meals could open up new distribution channels, such as supermarkets and e-commerce, without having to open additional outlets.


4. Optimising workflow with automation

RESTAURANT 3.0 also demonstrates how smaller food companies can adopt bitesized automation in their outlet kitchens, where workflow can be streamlined and redesigned to reduce labour-intensive tasks, such as:

a.   Inventory management (receiving, storage, drawing of stocks)

b.   Food preparation

c.   Dishwashing


5. Food preparation with robotics

Robotics are a step up from automation, where more complex tasks can be achieved. A pre-programmed robotic arm that has been tasked to grill beef, for example, can pick up the raw meat from the chiller, cook it on the griddle, plate the steak and have it placed at service point, all at the touch of a button.



6. Food vaults

A productive business format showcased is the food vault, where meals can be ordered from anywhere through a mobile phone app or web-based platform, and then picked up at the allocated vault. This innovative system is not only convenient for the customer, but spares the operator the need to employ waiters.


7. RFID vending machines

Food vending machines save manpower and space. The first Vendcafé , launched at Anchorvale Drive in 2016, has 90% less manpower than an eatery offering a similar menu and seating space. Open 24 hours, patrons can pop by anytime for a meal or takeaway. From an operator’s standpoint, this completely man-less outlet, which delivers a meal in under three minutes from ordering, is productive.


RESTAURANT 3.0 showcases new-generation vending machines that utilise Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to serve up a variety of hot and chilled meals to suit the lifestyle needs of today’s consumers.


8. Robotics

Robotics deployed at the front-of-house to serve customers have proven to be both efficient and entertaining. For example, a robotic platform may be programmed to fulfil an order of serving ice cream inside a coconut shell, or make coffee. This is another fully man-less solution.  


As with back-of-house processes, food companies can also automate front-of-house operations such as customer reservation and queue management, as well as ordering, serving, billing and payment.




Last Modified Date: 13 Jan 2020