Evolving with the times: Singapore’s Gold Kili ventures into new coffee product format and healthier beverages

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Gold Kili's latest product range, Drip Coffee, is expected to launch by the second half of the year. ©Gold Kili
Gold Kili's latest product range, Drip Coffee, is expected to launch by the second half of the year. ©Gold Kili

Related tags Singapore Coffee Beverages

Singapore-based Gold Kili has launched a new product format for its coffee range and expanded into the thriving healthier beverage category, as part of the firm’s growth strategy.

With over 35 years of coffee roasting experience, Gold Kili is a leading supplier to food service operators in Singapore and is known for its local coffee (kopi) products, including instant coffee mixes, coffee beans, and coffee bags.

The firm debuted its latest product range, Drip Coffee, at the recent FHA-Food & Beverage 2024. It is expected to launch commercially in the second half of this year.

“We have been roasting our own coffee for many years. As our scale got bigger, we set up another coffee roastery in Johor, Malaysia, which is partially automated to create a more comfortable environment for the roasters. The coffee beans roasted there are not only for retail bags, but also larger packs for food service.

“Based on this expertise in coffee roasting, we began exploring gourmet coffee, and that’s how the Drip Coffee series came about. It’s a more convenient format, without the need for complicated ingredients or to buy additional equipment. Everything is packed in a dense sachet. You just need to open it up and brew,”​ Stephie Lim, Brand Manager at Gold Kili told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

According to Lim, brewing a drip bag gives a fresher coffee aroma and taste, compared to conventional coffee bags.

There are three flavours for this new range, namely Signature Blend, Columbia, and Nanyang-style.

The Signature Blend is crafted with an in-house formula of Arabica and Robusta beans to offer a bold and robust taste with a smooth, bitter aftertaste, while Columbia is a single-origin blend that appeals to coffee enthusiasts who crave the distinct profile of Arabica coffee with its light body and acidity.

Roasted with sugar and margarine, Nanyang-style combines the richness of Robusta beans with a touch of caramel sweetness and nutty undertones, paying homage to Singapore’s traditional kopi-O (black coffee).

“We added Nanyang-style to our Drip Coffee series as an entry-level product for people who want to switch from traditional coffee to drip coffee. It is a new direction that we are taking — evolving through generations and growing globally by creating more beverages that are suited for the modern consumer.”

Currently, Gold Kili exports to more than 30 countries worldwide, including Indonesia, Philippines, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, and the US.

The firm is looking to actively participate in more trade shows overseas to break into new markets, such as Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea.

“For export markets, we start with our Ginger series. Interestingly, in Nigeria, our ginger drinks do so well that there are people trying to imitate ourproducts. Nevertheless, when we visited the local stores, Gold Kili is still a top-performing brand there.”

Riding on trends

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©Gold Kili

Gold Kili boasts an in-house R&D team and lab for its product development.

As consumers are increasingly well-travelled and better informed, the company has been expanding its line-up as a response to trends it has observed.

“In the initial years [of our establishment], the trend was on fat content. Since then, all our products are trans fat-free. In recent years, the trend has been on sugar reduction. When we do trade fairs overseas, especially in Japan and China, we also see a lot of demand for vegan-friendly products,” ​Lim shared.

Recognising the rising demand for functional beverages, the firm has put more focus into making “lifestyle drinks with benefits”.

Apart from introducing a no added sugar version of its popular Instant Ginger Drink, it also launched the Instant Ginger Turmeric Drink, which claims to offer benefits of both ingredients as well as a balance of mild spicy and sweet flavours.

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds such as beta-carotene, capsaicin, caffeic acid, and gingerols, while turmeric has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat inflammation, skin diseases, wounds, digestive ailments, and liver conditions.

The product won a Silver Award in the Beverage Innovation category at 2024 FHA Awards.

Another example of Gold Kili’s better-for-you beverage innovations is the Oat-K series that was released last August.

This plant-based, vegan-friendly oat milk drink mix does not use palm oil nor include non-dairy creamer, making it suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

Available in five flavours, Coffee, Espresso, Matcha, Chocolate and Tea, the powder mixes can be used to make other items such as shaved ice dessert.

“Most of the sweetness in Oat-K is the natural result of oats-processing. We have had positive reviews so far, and there are repeated orders from online buyers [as a testament to its acceptance level],” ​said Lim.

Healthier Product Innovation will be a key topic of focus at Growth Asia Summit 2024 – join us in Singapore to learn about market opportunities and glean insights from major industry experts. Find out more here

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