Boosted by solid economic performance, and robust domestic demand, Malaysia’s retail sector is forecast to grow ten percent annually.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: MY2021
Chris P. Rittgers
Loh Lee Pin/Suresh
Boosted by solid economic performance, and robust domestic demand, Malaysia’s retail sector is
forecast to grow ten percent annually. U.S. Fresh fruit, fresh and frozen potatoes, dairy products, snack
foods (including nuts), and pet food have broad appeal and excellent opportunities in Malaysia’s retail
Table of Contents
1. Malaysia in profile ................................................................................................................. 3
2. Food retail market summary ........................................................................................... 3
2.1 Malaysia’s food retail sector in overview .................................................................... 4
2.2 Advantages and challenges for US exporters ............................................................. 8
3. Road map for market entry ............................................................................................. 9
3.1 Supermarket, hypermarket and department stores .................................................. 9
3.2 Convenience stores and petrol station stores ........................................................... 12
3.3 Traditional stores including provision, grocery and sundry shops ........................ 14
4. Competition in the sector ............................................................................................... 14
5. Best products prospects .................................................................................................. 21
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 2
1. Malaysia in profile
Malaysia is one of the more affluent nations in Asia with a GDP per-capita of about US$9,700 in 2011
and is regarded as an upper middle income country by the World Bank. Its economy sits on a firm
foundation in a mixed economy that comprises strong agricultural, services and manufacturing
industries. In 2011, the economy grew by 5.1 percent driven by strong domestic demand. Economic
commentators forecast Malaysia’s economy to grow around 5 percent in 2012 and 2013.
Malaysia has a multi-racial population of around 28 million, all of whom are multi-lingual, speaking at
least two languages fluently, including English which is widely used in the business environment.
Malaysia still has a young population today with 28 percent aged 15 years and below and 67 percent in
the 15 year to 64 year age range. Around 97 percent of the working population continues to be gainfully
employed. Over 60 percent of the populations are in the middle to high income group with a growing
purchasing power. Malaysian’s lifestyles becoming more sophistication and modernization, leading to
increasing consumption of imported food and beverages from western countries. Today, Malaysia
provides a significant pool of active consumers who will continue to modernize their eating habits,
leading to increasing consumption of imported food and beverages.
2. Food retail market summary
Malaysia has a large and growing food retail market that is supplied by local and imported products.
Total retail sales of food and beverages amount to US$15 billion today. The forecast for this sector is
likely to grow by around 10 percent per annum over the next three to five years.
The Table below provides an overview of the size of the import market for food and beverage products
over the five years to 2011.
Imports of Food and Beverage Products (US$ million)
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Meat & meat preparations 342 404 421 532 661
Fish & fish preparations 562 496 584 684 862
Dairy products, eggs & honey 707 759 432 611 817
Edible vegetables 468 436 532 721 737
Edible fruits & nuts 177 238 252 302 364
Coffee, tea, mate & spices 295 276 284 392 475
Processed meat, fish & seafood 64 75 75 78 98
Sugar & sugar preparations 527 508 692 909 1,095
Processed cocoa products 873 1,295 873 1,144 1,300
Processed cereal products 350 428 415 511 612
Processed vegetables and fruits 141 168 180 219 267
Miscellaneous processed foods 334 406 429 590 732
Beverages 252 305 296 374 586
Total 5,092 5,794 5,465 7,067 8,606
Source: Global Trade Atlas (GTA)
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Malaysia imported $8.6 billion of food and beverage products in 2011. Food imports have been growing
on an average of over 14 percent per annum over the past few years. Imports of food products will
likely continue to grow at similar rates over the next five years.
Malaysia has a significant and growing food manufacturing industry. The food manufacturing industry
is largely domestic oriented, although a number of the larger companies also target the ASEAN markets
and Japanese market with their food products. According to Malaysian Investment Development
Authority (MIDA), in 2011, Malaysia exported food products worth $6.7 billion to more than 200
countries, of which, processed food contributed about $4.4 billion. The industry is involved in the
manufacture of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, dairy products, cooking oil, coffee and tea,
cereal-based foods, spices and spice mixes, sauces and condiments, processed fish and meat products,
chocolate and snacks, baked products and other cooked food preparations, including frozen foods.
The halal factor
With a Muslim population of 60 percent, the demand for halal foods by Malaysian consumers has
increased over the years. Foreign meat (except pork) and poultry plants intending to export to Malaysia
must be accredited by the Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services and the Department of Islamic
Development for halal purposes. The Malaysian halal standards are perceived as stricter than those of
other Islamic countries. Hence, opportunities to increase exports of meat (except pork) and poultry
hinge on the halal approval.
In recent years, the expectation of halal standard in food products have extended from meat and meat
products to non meat-based products such snacks, confectionery, dairy, bakery, etc. The Malaysian
government and many companies are marketing the halal standards as a new benchmark for quality,
hygiene and safety. Food products and ingredients that have halal certificates are perceived to have
added marketing value in Malaysia. Hence, most retailers, foodservice operators and food
manufacturers are inclined to ask for halal certificates for non-meat based food products and
ingredients. Under the newly amended Trade Description Act 2011 for the halal certification and
marking for products intended for Muslim consumers, imported food destined for Muslim consumers
has to be certified halal by one of the Islamic centers in the U.S.
(http://www.halal.gov.my/v3/index.php/ms/senarai-badan-islam-yang-diiktiraf) approved by the
Malaysian Islamic authority (JAKIM).
2.1 Malaysia’s food retail sector in overview
The food retail sector continues to remain fragmented today, with around 56 percent being made up of
small retailers operating in provision shops, grocery stores and other non-air conditioned sundry shops
throughout the country. The Chart below shows the structure of the food retail sector in Malaysia today.
Structure of Food Retail Sector
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stores and petrol
Provision stores, station stores
grocery stores and 1%
Source: Office Research
The bulk of retail food sales are channeled through the traditional stores, such as provision stores,
grocery stores, specialty food stores and other sundry shops. This sub-sector commands close to 56
percent of total food sales today. Modern stores such as supermarkets, hypermarkets and department
stores with supermarkets have around 43% share of the nationwide retail food market. Convenience
stores have remained insignificant, with only about 1% share of the nationwide retail food market.
Malaysia's food retail sector is made up of:
1. Large food retail stores such as supermarkets, hypermarkets and department stores
There are 121 hypermarkets, 113 superstores and 133 department stores runs by local as well foreign
players in Malaysia. Large food retail stores such as supermarkets, hypermarkets and department stores
that also operate supermarkets within the premises are largely located in the major cities, urban centres
and larger towns in Malaysia, where the majority of the middle to high income consumers reside. The
major food retailers usually operate chain stores that are strategically located to capture their target
consumers. It should be noted that hypermarkets, supermarkets and department stores are not permitted
to operate for 24 hours a day by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives & Consumerism. The
major food retail operators active in this sub-sector include:
The Cold Storage Group which is the largest food retailer in Malaysia in terms of sales as well
as number of retail outlets. It operates hypermarkets and supermarkets nationwide under the
Giant and Cold Storage brands. The Giant supermarkets and hypermarkets are known as a
home-grown trusted brand. Giant is well-known to local shoppers as the store that offers the best
value-for-money products. Giant targets the mass market and is today the largest supermarket
chain in Malaysia. Cold Storage targets the upper middle to high income shoppers as well as
high income expatriates residing in Malaysia. Cold Storage is perceived by local shoppers as a
store that targets the well-to-do shoppers as well as western expatriates. It carries a wide variety
of local products as well as imported products, especially products from Europe, USA, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some Latin American countries.
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Tesco Malaysia which is one of the largest food retailer in Malaysia in terms of sales. It operates
Tesco and Tesco Extra stores in the major cities in Malaysia. Tesco Malaysia is aggressively
targeting the mass market with its competitively priced products. It carries mainly locally
sourced products as well as a sizeable proportion of imported products, and has the widest
selection of price competitive products from the United Kingdom.
Carrefour Malaysia, the fourth-largest retailer operating 26 hypermarkets in Malaysia. It
operates hypermarket chains that target the mass market with its price competitive products.
Carrefour is a well-known foreign hypermarket brand in Malaysia, being one of the first few
foreign hypermarket brands to enter Malaysia. It carries a wide variety of local products as well
as some imported products, especially products from Europe. On October 31, 2012, Carrefour
announced it has finalized the sale of its Malaysian operations to Japanese retail giant AEON as
part of Carrefour’s strategy of re-allocating its resources to other mature and emerging markets.
Carrefour operations will be renamed to AEON BIG and a rebranding process will be
undertaken over the next six months. AEON BIG will operate independently from AEON
Malaysia and will have different store formats to attract different target markets.
AEON Malaysia which operates the Jusco Stores nationwide. Jusco is the largest high end
department store chain in Malaysia that also operates a full scale supermarket within its stores.
Jusco operates high end stores that target the middle to high income shoppers. It carries a wide
variety of local premium branded products as well as imported products, and carries the widest
selection of products from Japan. In March 2012, AEON announced its rebranding exercise by
taking on the global AEON brand name for all their operations. The takeover of Carrefour
Malaysia in October will effectively made AEON the second-largest retail group in Malaysia.
The Store is a major food retailer in Malaysia in terms of sales and number of outlets. This
department store chain operates a supermarket within it store. It is a home-grown store that
targets the mass market with price competitive products. The Store carries largely local
products, with some of the more popular imported products that are also carries by competing
The retail outlets that target the middle to high income locals and expatriates carry more varieties and
higher volumes of imported branded products from western countries such as Australia, New Zealand,
the USA, Canada, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.
Such products would include fresh produce such as chilled beef and lamb, fresh temperate fruits and
vegetables, chilled cold water fish such as salmon, frozen vegetables, sausages, delicatessen meats,
pastry and pies, dairy products, high end biscuits and cookies, confectionery such as premium/branded
chocolates and candies, potato based snacks, canned fruits, canned soups, canned meat, breakfast
cereals, pasta, sauces, spices, seasonings, dressings, ready meals (frozen), home bakery ingredients,
fruit juices, jams and jellies, peanut butter, non-alcoholic beverages and wines, beer and other alcoholic
In addition, retailers such as Giant, Cold Storage, Carrefour, Tesco, The Store and Jusco carry products
under their house/retailer brands which may be priced at 10% or more lower than comparable products,
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 6
to attract the price conscious customers from the lower to middle income group.
These large retail stores also offer additional services such as in-store “wet markets”, bakeries, wine
corners, alcoholic beverage corners, and health food corners as well as counter serving ready-to-
consume meals and snacks to attract more customers to their stores. Other emerging services include
on-line internet shopping with home deliveries. All the conveniences offered by these stores have
encouraged an increasing number of middle to high income Malaysians to shop for their grocery needs
at supermarkets and hypermarkets on an increasingly regular basis.
2. Convenience stores and petrol station stores
Convenience stores and petrol station stores are mainly found in the cities, larger towns and along the
North-South highway. The majority of these stores are franchise operations with support from their
franchisors in the form of advertising support, staff training, financing, bulk purchasing and distribution
7-Eleven is the largest convenience store chain operating 24-hour stores. 7-Eleven stores are treated like
“tuck shops” by children, teenagers and young adults who usually shop for magazines, newspapers,
candies, chips and other snacks, ice cream or other single-serve food and beverages that are consumed
“on-the-go”. Petrol station stores are also used in a similar manner by drivers and their passengers, who
are usually in a hurry and would not normally browse in such stores. For that reason, most individual
sales made are small in value.
These air-conditioned stores generally carry a smaller range of popular processed and packaged food
and beverage products compared to those carried by the supermarkets/hypermarkets. They also carry
microwaveable food products which may be heated at the store for immediate consumption. In addition,
convenience stores and petrol station stores also serve ready-to-consume food and beverages such as
sandwiches, fried rice, fried noodles, Nasi Lemak and other Asian cooked dishes, buns, curry puffs and
alike, ready-to drink hot coffee or tea, soft drinks and other beverages. They generally do not carry
perishable products such as chilled meat, fish and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables. Most of the
products are in single-serve packaging or in smaller packaging size than those carried by the
However, the retail price of the products is generally higher in convenience stores and petrol station
stores than at the supermarkets/hypermarkets.
3. Traditional stores including provision, grocery and sundry shops
Traditional stores continue to make up the largest number of food retailers in Malaysia today. They are
commonly found in all the cities, towns and villages in Malaysia. They are made up of open-fronted
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 7
grocery stores in shop houses or in the dry markets. This sub-sector is dominated by small family-run
businesses and target the price sensitive consumers as well as those who seek convenience, particularly
those housewives that prefer to shop daily for a small number of grocery items and other daily
essentials. In 2011, under the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) identified by the government as
a key driver of domestic consumption and to spur economic growth, the government introduced the
‘Small Retailers Transformation Program’ (TUKAR) to facilitate the modernization of 5000 traditional
sundry shops nationwide by 2020.
These retail stores generally carry local traditional and Asian products and some branded products with
a small number of the more popular imported food and beverage products from western countries. Their
competitive advantage is in their carrying products that are ordinarily demanded by all local households
and are retailed at a very competitive price.
It should be noted that these non-air conditioned stores are usually operated as specialist stores that
carry only halal products targeted at the Muslim community, or mainly Chinese products targeted at the
Chinese community or mainly Indian products targeted at the Indian community. A number of stores in
the cities and larger towns have up-graded to the mini-market concept by trying to compete against the
major supermarkets/hypermarkets, targeting all the races, offering better shopping ambiance with more
organized shelves, wider aisle, brighter and cleaner environment, check-out counters, more varieties of
branded products and alike, while still maintaining the friendly neighborly atmosphere.
2.2 Advantages and challenges for US exporters
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Malaysia’s economy is still showing positive The Muslim population (around 60 percent of
growth and forecast to continue to grow and the the total population) demands Halal products.
food retail market is also continuing to expand. US products need to comply with this religious
Most imported food and beverage products requirement.
attract low import duties and Customs Duties
(except for alcoholic drinks).
US products and brands are already well-known Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, France,
and well represented in the food retail market. In China, India and other ASEAN countries
addition, US products have a reputation of being continue to be strong competitors in the food
of high quality. This enables new-to-market US retail market. Their products compete on quality
products an easier access into the retail market and price against a number of comparable US
because the major retailers are more willing to products.
carry US products than products from other US products are generally perceived as not as
lesser known countries. In addition, the Cold price competitive as similar products from
Storage Group outlets that target western countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
expatriates as well as the high end retailers such
as AEON already carry large quantities and a
relatively wide variety of imported food products
from the USA.
Young Malaysians, including young adults, are New-to-market US products do not necessarily
increasingly adopting US culture and trends. fit local demand on taste and packaging size.
This is positive for US food products.
Past marketing efforts by US organizations have
raised the profile of a range of US products in Strong local products and brands exist which
the eyes of consumers and retailers, e.g. fresh dominate their markets to the near exclusion of
temperate fruits, dried fruits, frozen food, etc. imported products, e.g. fresh vegetables,
Such activities serve to not only increase chicken, soft drinks, mineral water, cordials,
awareness and consumption of US products but beer, chocolates, biscuits and cookies, cereal-
also increase the perception of US products as based snacks and some dairy products.
high quality products.
A wide variety of foreign products already “fit” Certain US products are not readily accepted by
into local food culture, e.g. yoghurt, ice cream, many Malaysians and so are ignored, e.g.
potato and cereal based snacks, infant food, turkey, snack products, ready-to-consume
temperate fruits and vegetables, soft drinks and prepared meals. Some US products do not
other non-alcoholic drinks such as cordials. This readily fit into the local food culture. To expand
trend will continue into the future as more demand for these products, Malaysians need to
Malaysians modernize their diets. be educated on how such products should be
best consumed, prepared or localized so that
these products become entrenched into their
3. Road map for market entry
3.1 Supermarket, hypermarket and department stores
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3.1.1 Company profiles
The Table below provides information on the major retailers involved in the operation of supermarkets,
hypermarkets and department stores.
Outlet Sales Purchasing
Type Ownership (millions) No. of Outlets Location Agent Type
Cold Local company, Sales 17 Cold Storage Nation- Direct sourcing
Storage subsidiary of information supermarkets wide preferred with a
and Giant Dairy Farm not released. and 131 Giant number of
International of Largest hypermarkets. preferred agents
Hong Kong hypermarket Giant is a used.
chain. trusted retail
Carrefour Acquired by Sales 26 Major Group sourcing
Japanese Aeon information hypermarkets cities direct from
Co Ltd in not available suppliers is
October 2012 preferred.
and will be
The Store The Store RM1.9 75 department Nation- Sources directly
Corporation billion store cum wide from local
Bhd, listed on (including supermarkets suppliers where
the stock non-food ever possible for
exchange sales) bulk orders.
Agents used for
AEON Operated by RM3 billion 25 department Major Sources directly
AEON Co (M) (including store, with a cities from local and
Bhd, listed on non-food significantly overseas
the stock sales) large suppliers where
exchange. supermarket ever possible for
Parent company section bulk purchases.
is AEON Group, Local agents
Japan. used for smaller
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 10
Tesco Tesco Stores Sales not 45 Tesco Major Sources directly
(Malaysia) Sdn disclosed. hypermarkets cities from local and
Bhd, joint and Tesco Extra overseas
venture between hypermarkets suppliers where
Tesco UK and ever possible for
Sime Darby bulk purchases.
Bhd. Local agents
used for smaller
3.1.2 Entry strategy
The US exporter should consider the following when selecting major retailers to partner with in
The financial strength of the retailer and its volume of business.
The level of interest and commitment by the retailer in carrying imported US products.
The number and location of retail outlets that target western expatriates and middle to high
income local consumers residing in urban centers.
The annual marketing program of the retailer.
The retailer’s policy towards:
New-to-market imported products and brands.
Premium and basic lines and niche products.
Volume of sales expected from the US products.
Promotional support expected from US exporters.
Retail pricing expected for the US products.
Listing fees and other costs, if any, imposed on the US exporters.
The retailer’s purchasing policy, i.e. whether they purchase directly from overseas suppliers or
via local importers/distributors.
In addition, US exporters should consider the following matters when planning to enter this retail sub-
Where the product fits in the retail market, e.g. as a mass market item, high-end niche item,
novelty/exotic item, seasonal festive/gift item, targeted at western expatriates, etc.
Price competitiveness of the US products versus comparable brands in the market.
Packaging size and quality that meets with customers’ expectations.
US products which can be easily/readily registered as Halal products.
US products which can be readily accepted as alternatives/substitutes to competing products.
US products that can be introduced into local food culture.
US organic products and health food products that can meet retailer’s requirements.
US products which provide convenience to customers.
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The level of promotion, commitment to brand support and consumer education necessary for
successful launch and development of a new-to-market product.
Ability to meet retailer purchasing requirements and specifications.
3.1.3 3.1.3 Distribution channel
The Chart below provides an overview of the distribution channel for imported food and beverage
products from US exporters to supermarkets and hypermarkets. It is important to note that the larger
retailers prefer buying directly from overseas suppliers where possible to gain better pricing in order to
pass cost savings to their customers to remain competitive in the market.
It should be noted that some sub-distributors are also used to distribute products to stores located in the
3.2 Convenience stores and petrol station stores
3.2.1 Company profiles
The convenience stores segment is dominated by 7-Eleven, the largest 24-hour convenience store in the
country that operates under Berjaya Retail Bhd. In addition, there are around 3,000 twenty-four hour
petrol station stores nation-wide operated by the other petroleum companies such as Petronas (Mesra),
Shell (Select), Petron (On The Run), Caltex (Xpress Point) and BHPetrol (BHPetrolmart). The number
of 7-Eleven stores in each Malaysian state gives a good indication of the level of modernization of the
retail sector in each state in Malaysia. Today, 60% of 7-Eleven stores are located in the Federal
Territory of Kuala Lumpur, the states of Selangor and Johor, which gives a very good indication that
these regions hold the largest level of modern consumerism in Malaysia today.
The Table below provides information on the major business involved in the operation of convenience
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 12
and Outlet Sales No. of Purchasing
Type Ownership (US$ millions) Outlets Location Agent Type
7-Eleven Berjaya Sales information 1,464 Nation- Local
Malaysia Sdn. Retail Bhd. not released. outlets of wide distributors.
Bhd Largest 7-Eleven
convenience store stores
3.2.2 Entry strategy
US exporters should view this as a secondary target providing incremental business, rather than as a
main target. They should consider developing distribution reach into this sub-sector through their
appointed distributors that service 7-Eleven and the petrol station stores. The new-to-market US
exporters should consider the following matters when planning to enter the sub-sector:
US products (halal certified) which are also targeted at the hypermarkets/supermarkets but are
packaged in single-serve or smaller sizes.
US products which target children, young adults and convenience seekers.
Price competitiveness of the US products versus competing local brands carried by stores
operating in this sub-sector.
3.2.3 Distribution channel
The distribution channel for the convenience stores and petrol station stores is similar to that existing
for the supermarkets. An example of the distribution channel to convenience store is shown below.
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 13
3.3 Traditional stores including provision, grocery and sundry shops
This sub-sector has remained highly fragmented. Although a large number of establishments have
remained in business for a considerable number of years, this sub-sector is also characterized by
operators that enter and exit the sub-sector on a frequent basis. Because of the nature of this sub-sector,
no single establishment dominates. This sub-sector has remained important in the Malaysia market
place as these businesses continue to satisfy the needs of the mass market as they provide easy access to
traditional products which are now fast disappearing from the modern market place due to lack of
branding, modern packaging and alike of such traditional products.
3.3.1 Entry strategy
US exporters should treat this sub-sector as a very low priority retail sector to target largely due to the
types of products retailed by such establishments. US exporters that wish to enter this sub-sector should
supply highly price competitive products that:
Can easily fit into the local food culture
Can be accepted as alternatives to Asian products and brands.
New-to-market US exporters should also carefully select major local distributors that have wide and
deep distribution capabilities which reach into this sub-sector.
3.3.2 Distribution channel
Traditional stores source their imported food and beverage products through local importers,
wholesalers, distributors or sub-distributors. This sub-sector is well-served by the larger and more
developed distributors with an established and complicated sub-distributor network because a large
number of these stores are located throughout the width and depth of the country, many demanding
small and irregular volumes of products.
4. Competition in the sector
The Table below summarizes the major supply sources for each product covered under this study, the
strengths of the key supply sources and the advantages and disadvantages of local companies.
Product Major supply Strengths of key Advantages and
(2011) sources supply countries disadvantages of local
Beef (fresh, 1. India - 75% Halal certification There is insufficient supply of
chilled or 2. Australia – 18% approved by Malaysian local beef.
frozen) 3. New Zealand – religious authority.
Import: India competes on price
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119,315 and dominates the
tons supply; demanded
largely by the low end
US$ 389 mass market food
million (CIF service segment.
Australia dominates the
fresh/chilled segment in
the high end food
service sector with its
Chicken Cuts, 1. China - 74% Halal certification Malaysia is a major producer
frozen 2. Thailand – approved by Malaysian of halal chicken and an
14% religious authority. exporter of poultry meat.
Import: 40,155 3. Denmark – The import market Local chicken is very price
tons 3% targets mainly the food competitive. Local consumers
4. U.S.A. – 2% service and food still prefer fresh or chilled
Mi processing sectors. chicken to frozen chicken. llion There is an import restriction
(CIF value) on chicken.
Whole turkey, Australia dominated the Turkey is largely demanded
frozen 1. Australia – market in 2011 by by the high end food service
94% supplying ‘halal’ sector and by some western
Import: 110 turkeys. No US turkey expatriates residing in
tons plants were certified Malaysia, for the festive
‘halal’ by the Malaysian holidays. There is no
US$ 0.6 government. commercial supply of local
million (CIF turkey.
Dairy 1. New Zealand - New Zealand leads in Local companies are very
52% milk powder, butter and strong in liquid milk,
Import: 2. USA - 16% liquid milk and is the sweetened condensed milk,
225,246 tons 3. Australia – 8% second largest supplier canned milk powders, yogurt
of cheese; Have long and cultured milk drinks.
US$ 856.1 established relationship They are all very strong
million (CIF with importers. companies with dominant
value) Australia leads in shares within their market
yoghurt and cheese and segments.
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is the second largest
supplier of butter.
The USA is the second
largest supplier of milk
powder, yoghurt and the
third largest supplier of
Breakfast 1. Philippines - 55% Branded market Nestle (Nestum) and Quaker
cereals 2. Thailand - 9% dominated by Nestlé, (Quaker Oatmeal) are locally
3. USA - 8% Kellogg’s and Quaker. packed from imported
Import: 9,517 Nestlé is supplied ingredients.
tons mainly from the
US$ 25.9 Thailand, targeting the
million (CIF mass market. Post,
value) Quaker, Nature’s Path
and Sweet Home Farm
are from the USA,
targeting the niche high
Infant food, 1. Singapore - 43% The market is dominated Nestle Malaysia’s products
excluding dairy 2. UK - 18% by cereal based infant dominate the cereal based
products 3. Netherlands – food (excluding dairy infant food segment
13% products). (excluding dairy products).
tons USA – 4%
US$ 72 million
Snacks Foods; 1. Indonesia - 11% Indonesia, China and Local products dominate this
2. China - 11% Thailand largely supply snacks market with very
Import: 57,529 3. Thailand - 10% Asian type snacks. widespread national
tons distribution reach. Malaysia’s
USA – 5% locally produced branded
US$ 213.8 products such as Jack & Jill,
million Roller Coasters, Pringles and
(CIF value) Twisties compete on price
Baked products 1. China - 21% China supplies a variety Malaysian products dominate
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 16
2. Indonesia – 19% of Nabisco biscuit both the cakes and sweet
Import: 28,718 3. Thailand - 12% products to Malaysia as biscuits segments with its
tons well as some China branded price competitive
USA – 6% biscuit brands. products such as Julie’s,
US$ 68.1 Indonesia supplies Munchy, Hup Seng, Hwa Tai
million (CIF Nabisco Kraft’s biscuit and Danone’s products e.g.
value) products. Chipsmore, Jacob’s and alike.
Japanese type biscuits.
Fresh 1. China - 53% China leads in potatoes, Malaysia dominates the
vegetables 2. India - 21% onions, cabbages, market with its consistent
3. Thailand - 7% lettuce, carrots and ability to supply good quality,
Import: legumes. competitively priced
1,021,256 tons USA - 2% India is the second temperate vegetables. It is a
largest supplier of major exporter of fresh Asian
US$ 573.1 onions. and temperate vegetables to
million (CIF Thailand is the leading Singapore.
value) supplier of tomatoes,
cucumber and other
Frozen 1. China - 33% China is the leading Malaysia produces some
vegetables 2. USA - 13% supplier of frozen mixed frozen sweet corn. It is not a
3. Denmark – 13% vegetables. Over 70% of major producer of frozen
Import: 16,926 China’s exports are vegetables.
tons frozen mixed
US$ 15.1 targeted at the food
million (CIF service sector.
value) USA is the largest
supplier of frozen potato
products (largely frozen
French fries), mainly
targeted at the food
service. It also supplies
frozen cut potato under
Fresh fruits, 1. China – 40 % China leads the market Malaysia does not produce
temperate 2. South Africa - with Mandarins and fresh temperate fruits.
22% Chinese pears and
Import: 3. USA - 19% second largest supplier
348,639 tons of apples.
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US$ 211 South Africa is the
million (CIF largest supplier of
value) apples, lemons,
grapefruits and the
second largest supplier
of pear, grapes and
USA is the largest
supplier of oranges,
the second largest
supplier of apricots and
the third largest supplier
Dried fruits India is the largest Malaysia is not a major
1. India – 33% exporter of dried supplier dried fruits.
Import: 24,501 2. USA – 19% Tamarind to Malaysia.
tons 3. Indonesia - 15% Indonesia is the largest
exporter of dried
US$ 27.4 Tamarind fruit.
million (CIF USA is the largest
value) supplier of dried grapes
(raisin) and prunes.
Edible nuts 1. India - 24% India leads in supplying Local brands such as Tong
2. China - 23% groundnuts by offering Garden, Camel and Tai Sun
Import: 3. USA – 18% very competitive prices. have a very strong presence in
146,657 tons China is the second the market.
largest supplier of
US$ 105.1 groundnuts and
million (CIF pistachio, and leads in
the supply of chestnuts.
USA is the largest
supplier of shelled
almonds, pistachio and
Sugar 1. Thailand - 20% Thailand supplies Cloud Malaysia supplies a large
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 18
confectionery 2. Indonesia - 20% 9, Nabisko Kopiko, variety of products targeted at
3. Vietnam - 19% Strepsils, Jack n Jill and local consumers, including
Import: 21,290 various Thai brands. Dino, Camel, Santa, Hacks,
tons USA – Less than Indonesia supplies Hudson’s and alike.
1% Mentos, Sunkist, Fox’s
US$ 53.7 and various lower
million (CIF quality Indonesian
Chocolates & 1. Singapore - 28% USA supplies Hershey Malaysia produces a number
Other Food 2. China – 16% Kisses and Bars which of good quality chocolate
Preparation 3. Belgium – 11% provide an alternative products. Local
Containing product to chocolate manufacturers mainly target
Cocoa USA - 6% lovers. consumers that prefer
chocolates in conveniently
Import: 20,689 packed single serve bars as
tons well as large bars as well as
party packs and in gift boxes.
US$ 122.7 Locally manufactured
million (CIF chocolates include well
value) known brands such as
Cadbury, Vochelle and
Sauces and 1. Singapore – 30% Singapore supplies high Locally produced soya sauce,
seasonings 2. China - 16% quality price tomato sauce and other Asian
3. Thailand - 14% competitive Asian sauces have a very strong
Import: 36,553 4. USA – 13% sauces such as sambal, presence in the market.
tons satay, chicken rice sauce
US$ 75.8 China is a major
million (CIF supplier of other high
value) end Asian sauces such
soya sauce, oyster sauce,
plum sauce and alike.
Thailand is a major
supplier of fish sauce
and chili sauce.
The USA is a major
supplier of western
sauces such as salad
sauce, black pepper
sauce, Thousand Island
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 19
Dressing, salad cream,
salsa and alike.
Non-alcoholic 1. Thailand - 65% Thailand leads in supply Local branded mineral water,
beverages 2. Singapore - 15% of pineapple juices, juices, cordials and soft
3. Indonesia – 5% cordials and Asian drinks dominate the market.
Import: 55 drinks as well as other
million liters non-alcoholic drinks.
The USA is the largest
US$ 60.2 supplier of tomato juice
mi llion (CIF and mixed fruit and/
va lue) vegetable juices to
Mala ysia with products
such as Welch’s, Del
Monte, Minute Maid,
Ocean Spray .
Wine 1. Australia - 50% Australia has developed Malaysia does not produce
2. France – 23% a higher presence in the any grape wine.
Import: 6.4 3. Singapore – 6% market because of its
million liters price competitive New
USA - 2% World grape wines and
US$ 79.2 strong brand presence.
million (CIF France dominates the
value) food service market and
competes on quality and
USA supplies well-
known brands of New
World wines to both the
retail and food service
Beer 1. Singapore - 26% Singapore is a major re- The market is dominated by
2. Netherlands - exporter of foreign beer locally brewed beers.
Import: 36 20% into Malaysia, including Malaysia has two major
million liters 3. China - 17% beers from Belgium, breweries that are aggressive
4. USA – 8% Denmark, Germany and brand driven businesses
US$ 46.6 Mexico. Most of these which proactively protect
million (CIF are very price their market shares.
value) competitive beers with
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 20
brands that are not well-
known to the
Ne therlands exports
Gr olsch and Breda
which is supplied to the
mid to high end
service sector in the
major cities and tourist
centers such as
exports TsingTao and
Yanjing beers to
Spirits 1. UK - 34% UK dominates in the Local production is
2. France – 29% supply of whiskies, rum negligible.
Import: 22 3. Netherlands - and Gin.
million liters 11% France and Netherlands
dominate the brandy
US$ 376.2 USA - 1% share sector with their well
million (CIF known brands.
Pet food 1. Thailand - 58% The market is dominated Malaysia does not produce
2. USA - 13% by Pedigree & Whiskas any processed and packed pet
Import: 33,473 3. Netherlands – 9% (Thailand), Friskies foods.
tons (Australia), and Purina
(Thailand & USA).
US$ 74.6 Thailand also supplies
million (CIF very price competitive
value) CP Smartheart (Thai
Source: Department of Statistics, market observations and trade comments
5. Best products prospects
Category A: Products Present in the Market That Have Good Sales Potential
Product 2007 2011 5 year Import Key Market
category Imports Imports Average Tariff Rate constraints attractiveness
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 21
Annual over market for USA
Breakfast 7,982 12,465 13% 2-5% duty Strengths of Category A.
cereals tons tons growth per charged on Nestlé and
annum. oats Kellogg’s in An attractive
US$ 15 US$ products. the market. market for long
million 28.9 Other term
(CIF million products development
value) (CIF incur 7% based on higher
value) duty. disposable
has not been
yet and can be
Snack 37,789 57,529 18% 6% import Strong Category A.
Foods tons tons growth per duty competition
annum. from price Malaysians
US$ US$ competitive snack all day.
113.3 213.8 good quality This market
million million locally continues to be
(CIF (CIF produced attractive for
value) value) branded well-known
products. brands from the
types not yet
available in the
the growth in
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 22
Frozen 15,474 16,926 Declining Nil except Products are Category A.
vegetables tons tons by 6% per for frozen mainly
annum. sweet corn demanded by Good prospects
US$ US$ which the food continue to
12.4 15.1 attracts 5% service sector exist for certain
million million import (western style frozen
(CIF (CIF duty. restaurants) as vegetables
value) value) most supplied by the
consumers USA that are in
still prefer demand by
readily Note: Food
available all service demand
year round. continues to be
Fresh 344,054 348,639 21% 5% import Growth in Category A.
fruits, tons tons growth per duty except demand is
temperate annum. for fresh still being Opportunities
US$ US$ oranges seen in exist for US
102.3 211.0 which oranges, exporters to
million million attracts no mandarins, capitalize on
(CIF (CIF import grapes, pears growth in the
value) value) duty. and apples as berries and
well as stone stone fruits
fruits and segment as
berries while consumers are
demand is looking for
declining for alternatives and
kiwifruits. are becoming
also exist for
which are in
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 23
and oranges to
Dairy 257,027 225,246 18% 20% import High levels of Category A for
tons tons growth per duty on existing Yoghurt, infant
annum. liquid milk competition milk powder,
US$ US$ (in quota), for market cheese
743.9 856.1 50% import share amongst products.
million million duty on key suppliers, Good sales
(CIF (CIF liquid milk both local and potential exists
value) value) (out of overseas, particularly for
quota), 5% making new retail packed
import duty entry difficult infant milk
on frozen and costly. powder, pizza
milk and cheese and
other milk The USA is other grated
powder the second cheese.
under HS largest
040291. supplier of Category C for
yoghurt and other retail
Nil for milk powder packed dairy
other and the third products.
products. largest This segment is
supplier of not particularly
cheese. attractive for
Chocolates 11,895 20,689 14% 15% import Strong Category A.
tons tons growth per duty competition
annum. charged from locally Opportunities
US$ US$ manufactured exist in
61.6 122.7 branded supplying gift
million million products. chocolates,
(CIF (CIF novelties and
value) value) exotic
during the year
end gift giving
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 24
Edible 48,987 Import: 25% Nil except The market is Category A for
nuts tons 146,657 growth for for dominated by almonds,
tons ground groundnuts groundnuts. walnut and
US$ nuts which Other nuts are pistachio -
39.8 US$ incurs 5% showing USA is the
million 105.1 import duty growth in the largest supplier.
(CIF million market.
value) (CIF Category C for
value) other edible
brands for other
Sauces and 26,408 36,553 20% 10% import Very strong Category A.
seasonings tons tons growth. duty for competition
The soya sauce from local Opportunities
US$ US$ market is and tomato soya sauce exist to
36.4 75.8 dominated sauce and and tomato continue to
million million by local similar sauce which supply to the
(CIF (CIF Asian sauces. meet closely retail sector,
value) value) sauces but with particularly the
all western 5% import consumer western sauces
sauces and duty for taste and price not
seasonings other expectations. manufactured
are sauces USA has in Malaysia.
imported. except for created a
mustard position in
which is supplying
Non- 13 55 32% Nil for fruit Very strong Category A.
alcoholic million million growth. juices, competition
beverages liters liters The except for from local Opportunities
market is pineapple products and exist for US
US$ US$ dominated juice which brands which exporters to
10.6 60.2 by local attracts meet closely supply juices
million million products 20% import with (fruits and
(CIF (CIF which duty and consumer mixture of
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 25
value) value) meet guava juice taste and price fruits and
closely which expectations. vegetables),
with attracts 6% sparkling juices
consumer import (for festive
taste. duty. seasons and
Import 20% import celebrations) as
growth is duty on well as products
mainly in mineral and that can be
un- aerated targeted at the
sweetened water and growing health
beverages, other non- food and
including alcoholic organic food
bottled beverages. segments of the
water and market.
Wine 6.3 6.4 2 % Import duty Wine is being Category A.
million million growth per of RM23 consumed by
liters liters annum. per liter for the younger Opportunities
sparkling generation of exist for US
wine. adult urban exporters to
US$ US$ Import duty Malaysian expand this
42.3 79.2 of RM7 per Chinese and market for their
million million liter for Indians, new world
(CIF (CIF other particularly wines as
value) value) wines. those increasing
educated number of
Excise abroad and/or young
Duty of are well- Malaysians
15% and travelled. acquire a taste
RM34/Ltr for wines as
for opposed to
sparkling whiskey and
wine or brandy.
Pet food 26,340 33,473 Rapidly Nil It is Category A.
tons tons growing at increasingly
23% per fashionable This market
US$ US$ annum. for the middle continues to be
35.1 74.6 to upper attractive for
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 26
million million income the USA and
(CIF (CIF groups to own US exporters
value) value) exotic pet should
dogs and cats. capitalize on
Few the growth in
constraints/ this market.
Category B: U.S. Products not Present in Significant Quantities in the Market That Have Good
Product 2007 2011 5 year Import Key Market
category Imports Imports Average Tariff constraints attractiveness
Annual Rate over market for USA
Baked 17,564 28,718 25% 6% on Strong Category B.
products tons tons growth. sweet competition
Fast biscuits, from price Malaysians
US$ US$ 68.1 growing waffles competitive snack all day
29.3 million market, and good quality long and baked
million (CIF popular wafers, locally products are
(CIF value) amongst all un- produced one of the most
value) consumers, sweetened branded popular snacks
particularly biscuits. products. of Malaysians.
cakes and Nil for US exporters
sweet other should
biscuits baked capitalize on
consumed products. the growth in
as a snack this market. US
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 27
taste and flavor,
are not readily
available in this
Fresh 915,560 1,021,256 12% growth Nil Competition Category B.
vegetables tons tons per annum. from local
suppliers and Demand for
US$ US$ China which fresh temperate
369.1 573.1 supply vegetables will
million million mainly Asian continue to
(CIF (CIF vegetables to grow as more
value) value) the market. varieties are
The bulk of adopted into
demand is for local food
Asian fresh culture,
Dried 23,385 Import: 23% growth 5% import Maturing Category B.
fruits tons 24,501 mainly for duty market for
tons dried applies. traditional US exports
US$ Tamarind dried fruits dominate the
11.6 US$ 27.4 products Nil on such as raisins segment
million million dried raisins and and continue to
(CIF (CIF dates and prunes. have a
value) value) dried Slow grow in significant
grapes. dried fruits share in dried
such as figs, prunes.
apricot, exist to supply
apple, peach to the growing
and other health food and
dried fruits. organic food
segments of the
Sugar 16,811 21,290 Growing by 15% Strong Category B.
confection tons tons 12% per import competition
annum. duty from Opportunities
US$ 36 US$ 53.7 Consumers, charged products exist in
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 28
million million particularly made locally. supplying
(CIF (CIF the younger novelty
value) value) generation, products
are attracted targeted at the
by the younger
and fun products which
looking are not yet
novelty available in the
Category C: U.S. Products not Present in the Market Because They Face Significant Barriers
Product 2007 2011 5 year Import Key Market
category Imports Imports Average Tariff Rate constraints attractiveness
Annual over market for USA
Chicken 29,672 40,155 Imports Import duty Halal Category C.
Cuts, tons tons fluctuate of 20% (in certification
frozen from year quota) and approved by This market
US$ 52 US$ 103 to year, 40% (out of Malaysian continues to be
million million depending quota). religious a challenge
(CIF (CIF on the authority is under
value) value) local required. conditions
supply Well where the
situation. developed market is well
Market is local poultry served by local
dominated farming sources. There
by local industry. is an import
chicken. restriction on
Dairy 257,027 225,246 18% 20% import High levels of Category C for
tons tons growth per duty on existing other retail
annum. liquid milk competition packed dairy
US$ US$ (in quota), for market products.
743.9 856.1 50% import share amongst This segment is
million million duty on key suppliers, not particularly
(CIF (CIF liquid milk both local and attractive for
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 29
value) value) (out of overseas, other retail
quota), 5% making new packed dairy
import duty entry difficult products.
on frozen and costly.
milk and The USA is Category A for
other milk the second Yoghurt, infant
powder largest milk powder,
under HS supplier of cheese products
040291. yoghurt and targeted at the
milk powder middle to high
Nil for other and the third income
products. largest consumers.
supplier of Good sales
cheese. potential exists
Edible 48,987 Import: 25% Nil except The market is Category C for
nuts tons 146,657 growth per for dominated by other edible
tons annum for groundnuts groundnuts. nuts.
US$ ground which incurs Other nuts are
39.8 US$ nuts 5% import showing Category A for
million 105.1 duty growth in the almonds,
(CIF million market. walnut and
value) (CIF pistachio -
value) USA is the
brands for other
Beer 15 Import: Declining Import duty Very strong Category C.
million 36 by 8 % per of RM5 per competition
liters million annum. liter. from locally Most imports
liters The market produced have tentative
US$ is Excise Duty well-known niche presence
17.5 US$ dominated of 15% and brands. as the foreign
million 46.6 by locally RM 7/Ltr for brands are not
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 30
(CIF million brewed beer not well known to
value) (CIF products. exceeding consumers.
value) 5.8 % vol
END OF REPORT.
GAIN REPORT MY2021 Page 31