Singapore’s SATS eyes non-travel food business for growth

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An existing SATS kitchen. (Photo: RENDY ARYANTO/VVS.sg)

Singapore ground handler and catering company SATS announced that its food division is rolling out a series of ventures to accelerate growth in its non-travel food business, collaborating with Singaporean F&B brands to enable greater scale and internationalisation. The company’s venture unit has a broad scope to drive growth through existing and new businesses, and develop adjacent businesses and new revenue drivers beyond the travel segment, in partnership with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and local SMEs to serve its growing network and customer base. 

(PHOTO: SATS)

SATS has committed over S$3 million with support from EDB to create and pivot new business ventures with strong global potential and ability to scale. Through corporate venturing, SATS is incubating and growing innovative new business models that harness its extensive culinary expertise, food technologies, integrated supply chain and large-scale kitchen capabilities to feed communities across its network. For potential projects involving local stakeholders, companies will benefit from SATS’ capabilities, know-how, and access to distribution channels to develop innovative products and expand in the region. Projects that exhibit growth potential post-incubation phase will become independent start-ups or be incorporated into SATS’ main operations. 

SATS’ ventures arm has initiated a hybrid kitchen model, which aggregates demand through its integrated supply chain and large-batch production of meal components such as soups and sauces in its central kitchens, for greater operating leverage to support new F&B concepts. This model enables SATS to curate a wide-ranging menu based on data analytics and consumer preferences derived from online ordering systems, produce meal components in large volumes off site, before dishes are freshly assembled and prepared for diners on site. The Housemen’s Canteen at Singapore General Hospital, which offers a contactless dining experience, is a proof of concept for these capabilities. Similarly, SMEs and partners who collaborate with SATS will gain scale efficiencies and quicker R&D turnaround without having to invest in these capabilities on their own. 

SATS is also collaborating with local F&B brands to introduce them to new market segments. SATS has launched ready-to-cook Farmpride Signatures products that feature collaborations with SMEs like Keng Eng Kee (KEK) Seafood and brought F&B brands such as Bismillah Biryani Restaurant and Boon Tong Kee’s signature dishes to the skies for Singapore Airlines’ Singapore Showcase menu which launched in September 2021.

Kerry Mok, president and chief executive officer designate of SATS, said, “The SATS ventures arm plays a key role in driving business model innovation to spur new synergies through innovation and product development for future foods. Coupled with greater digitalisation, this will expand our food solutions business regionally. We are committed to quality and to staying in step with local F&B brands by creating opportunities for them to grow with us. This will raise Singapore’s status as a food innovation hub and help SATS maintain market leadership.”

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