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Indian-owned grocery stores springboard for Middle Eastern and South Asian F&B products in Malaysia

Indian grocer in Malaysia has become an important channel for South Asian and Middle Eastern F&B products. Language and cultural affinity as well as ideal store location make Indian grocery stores the preferred channel for Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indian and Saudi Arabian food and beverages. Indian grocery stores are commonly found in condominiums/flats. Many South Asians and Middle Eastern people live in areas when they come over to Malaysia to study, for trade or for work, making Indian shops in these areas an ideal platform to sell imported food to home sick foreigners.

Bangladesh’s Pran is a company that has penetrated the Indian-owned grocery shops. Lately, we are seeing Kiara Supermarket, now known as Big Bazaar.my, stocking up on Indian beverages such as Mapro and Coca-Cola’s Thumbs Up and Maaza. The 500ml Thumbs Up sells for RM 3.40, while a similar 500ml Maaza is retailed at a price of RM 4.40, not cheap. Once consumers including Malaysians are familiar with these imported food and beverages, the next stop would be the minimarts and mainstream grocers. So it is rather like a step-by-step approach to test the market through Indian grocers before going to larger chains and establishments.

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