Japan Frito-Lay Ltd has asked customers to voluntarily return 3,348 bags of Lay’s Original potato chips imported from Thailand after they found a large amount of glycoalkaloids, the Facebook page “Krob Krueng Rueng Yee Poon” (all about Japan) posted on Thursday.
The page said that eating a large amount of glycoalkaloids at one time could cause many symptoms, such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and stomachache.
In a statement, Pepsi‑Cola (Thai) Trading Co Ltd said on Thursday that Japan Frito-Lay Ltd had asked customers to return bags of 140g Lay’s Original chips imported from Thailand after a customer complained that it was bitter and had an astringent taste.
The company explained that glycoalkaloid occurs naturally in potatoes. It was not a residual, additive, or contaminating substance.
PepsiCo assured about the quality of its potatoes and that they were produced with maximum safety adhering to international and the Food and Drug Administration’s standards. The company added that it uses only safe ingredients and follows regulations strictly.
Unsurprisingly, Thailand topped the list of countries with the spiciest cuisine in the latest ranking published on the WorldAtlas website.
Spices have the power to make food tasty, savoury, aromatic and sweet, though the preference of spice varies from region to region, the page said.
“In the Middle and the Far East, spices are an integral part of the food culture, and food cannot be prepared or served without spicy ingredients,” the page said.
Citing a study conducted by Harvard and China National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, WorldAtlas said consuming spices at least once a day lowers the rate of mortality by up to 14 per cent.
“Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, and chillies also speed up metabolism,” the page said. “Some spices such as turmeric possess anti-inflammatory properties and have been used for decades to treat conditions like nausea, arthritis, headaches, and autoimmune disorders.”
Capsaicin, an active agent, found in chilli peppers is believed to slow down and even destroy cancerous cells, while cumin and turmeric have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that help fight against harmful bacteria, the page added.
WorldAtlas said there are several ways to circumvent spicy food at a Thai restaurant in Europe or North America, but it is a lot harder to find bland food in Thailand.
The Thai threshold for spicy is much higher than most countries, and what foreigners consider extremely spicy is usually just another flavour for the locals, the page said.
“Spices in Thailand range from curry, hot pepper and ginger,” the page said. “Restaurants that serve spicy dishes have a competitive edge over other restaurants.”
Pork prices in China went down last week, official data showed.
From Jan. 4 to 7, the average pork price index in 16 provincial-level regions tracked by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) was 20.22 yuan (3.2 U.S. dollars) per kg, down 6.2 percent week on week.
This figure also represented a year-on-year drop of 56.4 percent.
China released a slew of measures last year to advance sustainable and healthy development in the hog industry, detailing tasks to avoid drastic fluctuations in the market and ensure stable supplies.
In the coming five to 10 years, China will see cyclical market fluctuations effectively alleviated and pork supply security capabilities increased, with an aim to maintain the market’s self-sufficiency rate at around 95 percent, according to the guidelines jointly released by government agencies including the MARA.
“The signing and future of RCEP would undoubtedly bring benefits and development opportunities,” says secretary general of the Malaysia International Durian Industry Development Association Edwyn Chiang, noting that RCEP will boost more agricultural investment and cooperation for Malaysia and the RCEP members.
Malaysia’s agricultural exports, including its much sought-after durians, will greatly benefit from the rolling out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), industry experts said.
RCEP will facilitate the broader market and development space for the development of Malaysia’s agriculture, as well as strengthen agricultural investment and international cooperation between Malaysia and the RCEP members, Edwyn Chiang, secretary general of the Malaysia International Durian Industry Development Association told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The Black Thorn durians are seen at a durian orchard in Raub, Malaysia, Nov. 21, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhu Wei)
“The signing and future of RCEP would undoubtedly bring benefits and development opportunities. Among the members of the agreement, ASEAN, China, Japan and Australia are all important agricultural countries, and there is a huge space for the development of agricultural economy and trained cooperation between Malaysia, and China, ASEAN, Japan and Australia,” he said.
Chiang also said the golden age of the durian trade has begun, predicting that by the year 2030, the export volume of durians will increase by 50 percent, and the production of the well-known Musang King variety of the fruit will double.
“At the same time, the external market competition influenced by the agreement will also help the development of domestic agriculture, and reshape the regional industrial chain, and the value chain of agriculture,” he said.
Deputy Secretary-General Michael Chai Woon Chew of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia said the agreement will boost the export of a whole range of Malaysian agricultural products to China while helping to raise local production standards.
Chai explained that the Malaysian durian industry has worked hard to comply with China’s stringent importation requirements and this is well worth the effort considering the vast size of China’s domestic consumer market, especially the demand for tropical fruits.
Malaysia first exported whole frozen durians to China starting in 2019, after the country’s authorities cleared the fruit for export.
In 2020, China imported around 575.9 million kg of fresh durians, with an import value exceeding 2.3 billion U.S. dollars. Between 2017 and 2020, China’s annual import value of fresh durians increased more than threefold, according to market and consumer data provider Statista
Grocery retailing has always been a symbiotic relationship of buyers and sellers co-existing to meet consumer demand. 40 years ago, as grocery retailers in developed global economies grew and increased their market share, they in turn established more power and influence over their suppliers. The resulting effect on prices, product choice and innovation for shoppers had often been overlooked, as had the impact on the sustainability of production and consumption.
Today, however, it’s widely accepted that to generate consumer demand and remain competitive requires a greater focus on collaboration, to work with transparency to achieve shared objectives that meet the needs of shoppers.
This report will guide you to discover more about: • The evolving relationship between Retailers and CPGs • Future drivers for successful partnerships • Data to enrich collaborative touchpoints • Technology to connect you to your shoppers • Guiding principles for insight driven collaboration
The paper also explores what will drive collaboration to better serve shoppers. We will highlight the hallmarks of successful partnerships across the dunnhumby global network, and we will uncover the role data, technology and e-commerce will play in facilitating successful collaboration. We will hear first-hand from over 80 industry leaders at our retail and CPG partners in a survey conducted across 15 markets, alongside the thoughts of senior experts at dunnhumby and our technology partners.
THE FUTURE OF RETAILER AND CPG COLLABORATION
INSIGHTS FROM THAILAND
While the global insights shared in this report were generated from 80 participants from 15 markets (including Thailand), there was a disparity in the volume of respondents from EMEA, NA and other regions. To combat this, and provide data relevant specifically to the Thai market, the dunnhumby team conducted additional research surveying 34 CPG and retailer experts from Thailand.
The results generated by respondents in Thailand concurred with the global consensus that retailer / CPG collaboration will increase, with 74% of industry leaders expecting collaboration to continue to grow over the next 5 years, driven by a combination of rapid change of market situation and shopper behaviours. Strong collaboration in developing the correct strategies will help retailers and CPGs effectively respond to change and grow within a new and more complex market environment.
THE FUTURE OF RETAILER AND CPG COLLABORATION
The global results provide good insights into changing behaviour and the drivers and touchpoints that will influence this shift. However, by honing in on more granular, regional data, we can see that the future drivers for successful partnerships, and how they are prioritised, vary based on geographic region. This is true in the case of Thailand. The global insights shared here were generated from 80 participants from 15 markets (including Thailand). However, there was a disparity in the volume of respondents from EMEA, NA and other regions. To combat this, and provide data relevant specifically to the Thai market, dunnhumby conducted additional research surveying 34 CPG and retailer experts from Thailand. The results generated by respondents in Thailand concurred with the global consensus that retailer / CPG collaboration will increase, with 74% of industry leaders expecting collaboration to continue to grow over the next 5 years.
The top reasons for the predicted increase were intrinsically connected; “to find direction / strategy and develop the business plan together in order to recover and drive sales / gain a mutual win” (28%), “to respond to rapid changes in consumer behaviour/needs” (17%), and “to help the business find solutions to survive / recover” (14%). The majority of Thai industry leaders surveyed believe that the collaboration between retailers and CPGs will increase driven by a combination of rapid change of market situation and shopper behaviours. Strong collaboration in developing the correct strategies will help retailers and CPGs effectively respond to change and grow within a new and more complex market environment.
The majority of Thai industry leaders surveyed believe that the collaboration between retailers and CPGs will increase driven by a combination of rapid change of market situation and shopper behaviours. Strong collaboration in developing the correct strategies will help retailers and CPGs effectively respond to change and grow within a new and more complex market environment.
By exploring this in more detail, in terms of both key drivers and touchpoints, we can understand how CPGs and retailers can optimise collaboration to maximise their investments and resources whilst producing a superior experience for customers. But first, it is worth noting the difference between cooperation and collaboration. The global survey highlighted some confusion around this notion as whilst the two sound similar, they present differently.
Dishes featuring grasshoppers and crickets may soon be served up in European homes and restaurants. Grasshoppers were marked as safe for consumption by the European Food Safety Agency on Friday, while the house cricket (acheta domesticus) is being studied as a new source of protein.
Grasshoppers are believed to carry as much protein as a 100-gram piece of chicken tenderloin.
This is the second time that the EU has approved insects as safe for consumption after certifying dried mealworm in June this year.
Stir-fried basil has recently joined the ranks of Thai delicacies like tom yum kung, phad Thai and green curry, and Kod Krapao restaurant in Bangkok is serving up a vast variety of dishes spiked with Thai basil.
Normally “phad krapao” (stir-fried basil) comes with pork, chicken, beef or seafood. The adventurous few have even gone as far as using liver, fermented sausages or just veggies.
However, at Kod Krapao the varieties are endless, ranging from crispy or fermented pork to Chinese sausages, though its braised pork with basil has proved to be the most popular.
The phad krapao dishes at this restaurant are not too spicy, so the taste of basil is not overpowered. Of course, each plate is served with a side of fish sauce with chilli, so diners can adjust the taste.
No phad krapao is complete without a fried egg, and at this restaurant, you have a choice of chicken and duck eggs, though the fried chaiya salted egg is not to be missed. The yolk of these eggs is not too salty because Kod Krapao only uses freshly processed eggs.
To get a chance to enjoy the delicacies on offer, diners should get to the restaurant before noon or after 2pm to avoid long queues, though braised pork is usually sold out at lunchtime.
Bangkok’s Kod Krapao restaurant serves up all sorts of Thai basil flavoured delights
Take the BTS to Ari station and head to Soi Ari 1. Kod Krapao is located in the food court zone of A-ONE Ari and can be identified by its red sign and picture of an elderly woman in Chinese clothes sporting the Thai text โคตรกะเพรา.
Bangkok’s Kod Krapao restaurant serves up all sorts of Thai basil flavoured delights
The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm, though on Saturdays it closes one hour later.
A recent study conducted by food-delivery company Uber Eats showed that Thailand’s ubiquitous “phad Thai” was the second most ordered dish in the United States.
The most ordered item was French fries, while the third spot was held by India’s garlic naan.
Phad Thai’s heavenly sour, sweet, spicy taste spiked with the refreshing tang of lime is seen by many as a far healthier and lighter alternative to pasta.
The Uber Eats report also found that phad Thai orders often came with special requests like no egg, no chilli, no coriander or even “make me cry… please make me hurt. Make extra extra extra burning super super hot and spicy!!!”
Its crab fishing season in Gaza, local fishermen are taking this opportunity to make some money.
Every day, thousands of Palestinians, including fishermen and fishing enthusiasts, rush to the Gaza sea, throwing their nets into the water to catch crabs.
Their fishing season lasts for three months, from September to November. Palestinians, who have been suffering from acute economic crisis for years, rush to buy crabs due to their relatively low costs and the fact that some fish don’t reach the Gaza coast at this time of the year.
Bashir Muheisen is one of the fishermen, who used to benefit from the crab fishing season. However, it later became a tougher job. “We were allowed to fish within 20 nautical miles off coast, but the fishing areas further shrank after the blockade,” the 60-year-old father of ten said. A man removes a crab from the fishing net at Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, on Sept. 28, 2021. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)
The man said he thought about looking for other jobs. But that was a mission impossible. “I spent most of my life in the sea. Neither I nor many other fishermen can work in other field,” he said.
Together with two of his sons, Muheisen catches about 60 kg of crabs a day. Then they sort them out in boxes, which are then sold in local markets.
“I can make about 80 U.S. dollars a day. However, it is not solely for myself as I should pay other people who help me catch and sell them,” the man said.
People remove a crab from the fishing net at Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, on Sept. 28, 2021. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)
Mahmoud al-Qouqa is an unemployed man from al-Shatea refugee camp. He told Xinhua that the crab fishing season has been giving him “a golden chance” to make money even it just lasts for a few months.
The 40-year-old father of four said that he graduated from university in 2006, but did not find any job neither in the public or the private sector. And that prompted him to look for a job in other fields such as building establishments, cultivating, driving cars, and catching crabs.
Al-Qouqa gains about 35 dollars a day, but he shares that money with his brother, who has six children.
According to the Department of Fisheries in the Hamas-run Ministry of Agriculture, crabs are usually caught over the year through trawl nets, while the crabs head to the beaches in large numbers during autumn, making them more accessible to fishermen.
“Every day of the autumn season, the fishermen in the Gaza Strip catch about 2,000 kg of crabs,” the ministry said in a press statement.
“Crabs are the fruit of the sea and we wait for their harvest season to enjoy the delicious taste,” Mohammed al-Aqraa, from Gaza City, told Xinhua.
The 35-year-old man said he buys crabs at least once a week for his family.
“In the past, before the Israeli blockade, the Palestinians used to buy fish but later, when most of them have been suffering from poverty, they resorted to buying crabs as they have the same nutritional benefits,” he said.
Bangkokians have long enjoyed dining out at “cook shops” (or “kook” shops, if pronounced in Thai) but such restaurants have not received the widespread mention they deserve, even across social media.
These traditional restaurants, run by Hainanese people, or Chinese from southern Hainan island, have been dishing out a tasty fusion of western and Chinese fare for the past 80 years and more. And as the decades have gone by, the attractive eateries, found particularly in old Bangkok areas such as Charoen Krung, Rajavithi and Sukhumvit, have proliferated despite changing times and trends.
Agave Foomuikee 2 (Delicious Agave) in Rama IX area is believed to be the oldest cook shop in existence, having opened its first branch in 1932 – 89 years ago.
A rich, long history
Chuleekorn Vorayingyong, the third-generation owner of Agave Foomuikee, told us this week that her family’s business has witnessed several changes and crises in Bangkok – from the Siamese Revolution in the year it had been founded to World War II, the big flood of 1945 and, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said Agave Foomuikee was founded by her grandfather, who had emigrated from Hainan island along with his wife. Her grandfather started his new life in Thailand as a chef in a western embassy.
His experience inspired him to open the restaurant’s first branch in Charoen Krung, where several Chinese families had settled down, near the popular Oriental Hotel.
However it was not all smooth sailing for the fusion-food restaurant amid an unstable political situation. Chuleekorn said there were times when her grandmother was forced to sell her assets in order to have enough money to support the family and help her husband run his business.
The next challenge for the restaurant was World War II.
The cook shop had to close its doors several times due to warning signals and even bombing during that war.
In 1945, the owner and his family was hit by hardship again – this time from a big flood that overwhelmed the capital.
“The business was forced to close again,” Chuleekorn said. “However, my grandfather had no choice but to do whatever he could in a bid to go through the hard time while raising thirteen children.”
Agave Foomuikee experienced more misery through the years but its fortunes changed in 1962, when then columnist and well-known food critic Thanadsri Sawasdiwat visited the restaurant and reviewed it for Fah Muang Thai magazine.
“More and more customers were drawn to our restaurant after that, and the business became smoother and smoother,” she added.
The second branch
Today, only Agave Foomuikee 2 is still open.
This second branch was founded by Chuleekorn’s father in 1988, located on Rama IX Soi 7.
Chuleekorn explained that the first branch was operated by her uncles, the second generation, after her grandfather handed it over to them. But one of the second-generation operators died, so the rest decided to close the first shop.
Decades-old fusion-food ‘kook’ shop overcomes series of crises to prove a scrumptious attraction
The latest and biggest challenge faced by Agave Foomuikee is the Covid-19 crisis, which has pummelled several businesses in the country.
With the latest Covid-19 wave, Chuleekorn said, her cook shop had no income whatsoever as all restaurants were prohibited from serving customers.
However, the alumni of several universities had set up a group for students to post about their businesses in order to help ease their financial burden.
Chuleekorn, an alumni of Chulalongkorn University, grabbed the opportunity, joining the CU Market group and introducing Agave Foomuikee 2.
The move helped Agave attract a healthy stream of orders.
Chuleekorn said she had actually realised the importance of online channels ten years ago, but she could not pay it much attention as her main job took up most, if not all, of her time.
“In the past ten years I wrote a blog about Agave’s history and set up a Facebook page. But I could not attend to it on a regular basis. However, there were customers who shared information online about Agave. If I had started the blog and page during these Covid-19 times, it wouldn’t have been effective as there would have not been enough comments and shares from customers online,” she explained.
Asked how Agave Foomuikee is surviving the tough competition of present times, Chuleekorn firstly thanked her loyal customers for still visiting the shop and always checking in online when they dine in.
Chuleekorn said she aimed to focus more on online marketing and delivery services in order to survive.
“I am planning to improve this restaurant through delivery services. Youngsters like my daughter always rely on Grab or Lineman services when they need food,” she told us.
“However, to run a delivery service you need to offer promotions, and this affects the cost of dishes. My father is concerned that customer numbers will decrease if our food prices increase. It depends on time, but the cook shop will be gradually improved,” she added confidently.