Home Country Malaysia Lee Kum Kee gives Mahsuri a new look, focusing on oyster sauce

Lee Kum Kee gives Mahsuri a new look, focusing on oyster sauce

From left Carmen Liew, Regional Marketing Director of Lee Kum Kee Malaysia, and MasterChef Celebrity Malaysia winner Chef Dato’ Fazley Yaakob on the right

New look and new brand ambassador

Lee Kum Kee’s Mahsuri brand of sauces unveiled a fresh look on 15 December 2016 along with its new ambassador, MasterChef Celebrity Malaysia winner Chef Dato’ Fazley Yaakob, who will be featured in their new campaign.


The collaboration with Dato’ Fazley Yaakob, the MasterChef Celebrity Malaysia winner, sees a change in the strategy for the Mahsuri brand. In 2014, the brand launched a major campaign featuring the Malaysian actor Shaheizy Sam (image below). The focus back then was on the antics of Shaheizy helping Malay cooks maintaining Suci Sejahtera with the Mahsuri sweet and spicy sauces. Created by TBWA\Kuala Lumpur, Suci Sejahtera demonstrated the importance of purity and wholesomeness during preparation of Malay food.


The new emphasis with Dato’ Fazley on board is to demonstrate how the Mahsuri range can improve the taste of Malay dishes. The collaboration with the MasterChef Celebrity Malaysia winner whom himself is the owner of a multiple award winning restaurant SukaSucre Bistro is a testament to his authority in fine taste. For the latest campaign, Dato’ Fazley has created eight delicious dishes that can be easily replicated at home.

The featured dishes are Sayur ala Lodeh, Ayam Penyet Balado Hijau, Ayam Mongolia Nenas Bakar, Daging Hitam Belimbing, Sambal Udang Petai Salai, Telur Dadar Bersama Merah Telur Masin, Nasi Goreng Ketam dengan Bawang Putih Panggang and Mee Goreng Bunjut.

“Through these recipes, I want to show that cooking delicious food can be easy as long as one has fresh ingredients and of course, the right sauces. I have confidence in Mahsuri’s range of sauces because it maintains high food quality standards including a zero tolerance towards preservatives and uses natural fermentation processes,” said Dato’ Fazley during the event.

New look


After two years of brand building, Lee Kum Kee is now more confident about the Mahsuri brand. In the new packaging (image on the right), the Mahsuri logo is given a more prominent position and a larger font size. In the old packaging (image on the left), the focus was on the type of sauce.

Oyster sauce gets the center stage

Oyster sauce, which Lee Kum Kee is known for, is the key focus of the latest campaign for Mahsuri. Lee Kum Kee’s founder created the oyster sauce in the late 19th century. The launch event on 15 December 2016 devoted a lot of attention to the oyster sauce with Dato’ Fazley talking about the versatility of oyster sauce and how it can be used for the cooking of his favourite Malay dishes. Of the eight dishes created by Dato’ Fazley, five of them featured the use of Mahsuri oyster sauce.

Strong growth potential for oyster sauce among Malay households

Oyster sauce is commonly use by Malaysian Chinese households to improve the taste of their cooking. Lee Kum Kee is the market leader in the oyster sauce category in Malaysia. However, the penetration of oyster sauce (sos tiram) in Malay household is still low and this is where the opportunity lies. According to Miko Ng, Lee Kum Kee (Malaysia) regional category manager – soy, Malay consumers tend to use MSG or all-in-one seasoning such as Maggi CukupRasa to flavour their dishes.

With the new campaign, Lee Kum Kee is working to popularise oyster sauce usage in Malay dishes. The aim is grow its share of the oyster sauce market within the Malay population.


Ethic Malays account for around 50% of the population of Malaysia, 10% other Bumiputera (indigenous people) and Chinese around 21%. The non-Malaysian citizens totaling 3.25 million are people living mainly in Sabah. The sizable Malay population makes the Malay market a growth spot for oyster sauce.

Oyster sauce market smaller but growing

In Malaysia, the size of the oyster sauce market constitutes around 40% of the total soy sauce market with the share of oyster sauce on the rise, said Miko.

Unlike oyster sauce, the soy sauce market is well established and matured. The Malay market has their preferred brands such as Habhal’s Cap Kipas Udang, while the Chinese tend to go for Chinese soy sauce brands like Angel by Bidor Kwong Heng Sdn Bhd. It is therefore an uphill climb for Lee Kum Kee to penetrate the Malay soy sauce market. For oyster sauce, the situation is different. Since the category is still small and new among the Malay market, there is still a huge potential for Mahsuri to cultivate new consumers.

Vegetarian oyster sauce a growth spot

Within the ethnic Chinese community, the growth spots for oyster sauce are brand switching and vegetarianism, said Miko. An increasing number of consumers are embracing the vegetarian lifestyle. Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Oyster Flavoured Sauce is well positioned to tap the growing opportunity in the vegetarian space.

Key takeaways

Lee Kum Kee has identified the right category to compete in the crowded sauces market. Oyster sauce for the Malay market is still under developed and this situation proves advantageous to Lee Kum Kee, a pioneer in oyster sauce. The company’s Mahsuri brand, with the new look and brand ambassador, will play a pivotal role in cultivating and gaining the trust of Malay consumers going forward.


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