Business

Food & Drink

Toast of the town— Singapore

Preface

In Singapore a battle is taking place – a battle to dominate the toast-and-spread market. And with the formula proving ever-popular at home, it’s big business for the leading brands who have their eyes set on the rest of Asia.

brands, food, market, spread, toast

Let the toast wars begin. In Singapore, this humble snack is dividing loyalties, pitting traditionalists against newcomers and roadside café owners against new chains. Nobody knows who the victor will be.

To understand how such a simple dish could leave so many people feeling burnt, you need a quick lesson in local culinary traditions. Walk down Singapore’s Killiney Road at 07.30 on a weekday and you’ll see labourers, business- types and students standing in line for their morning slice of kaya (coconut jam) toast and a cup of kopi (coffee). Back…

The kopitiam: going head-to-head with the big name chains

As kopitiams have mushroomed across Singapore, they have become essential to daily life. “Kopitiam talk” is synonymous with gossip, often seen as a barometer of public opinion. Although these toast shops may not have produced a Sartre (yet), they serve as public spaces where Singaporeans from all walks of life can meet. But there’s no denying Singaporeans are fond of their Starbucks (69 shops) and McDonald’s (over 110). Kopitiams are operating in one of the world’s most competitive markets and will have to stand their ground in the face of an ever-growing fast-food sector which in 2009 was worth over €400m.

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