Fresco Grano produces a range of baked goods, including bread, cookies, cakes and cereals, and offers both organic gluten-free and gluten-free items. Lately, the company has seen an increase in demand for its gluten-free products, and not just among consumers who âmustâ eat them because of special dietary needs.
âThere has certainly been an increase in demand for gluten-free products as a result of increased awareness among consumers with gluten intolerance and allergies. [This is expected to a degree] as medical tests related to this become more available, they are able to determine the severity of their condition and what needs to be done about it, [such as going on a gluten-free diet], “Ryea Sankaran, founder of Fresco Grano, said FoodNavigator-Asia.
âFor those who must follow a gluten-free diet, avoiding gluten would improve their gastrointestinal health as well as their quality of life, as consuming gluten could lead to varying degrees of bloating and, in some cases, extreme discomfort.
“[But in addition to this group], we have also seen an awareness among many consumers [who are not suffering from gluten intolerance] reduce carbohydrates and replace them with healthy proteins as part of a good diet – [we have noted that many of our consumers have cited this as a reason for] choose to buy a mix of gluten-free and gluten-free products.
âCarbohydrates are both delicious and necessary in traditional baking, it’s true, but if consumers had the choice to enjoy a good cupcake [and be sure that it is] as healthy and nutritious at the same time, [they may] opt for the gluten-free option.
In a price-sensitive country like Malaysia, this is important because gluten-free products are generally more expensive than regular products – for example, Fresco Grano’s gluten-free breads range from RM12 (US $ 2.83) to RM18. RM (US $ 4.25), while his regular breads range from RM 7 (US $ 1.65) to RM 9 (US $ 2.12).
The other trend Sankaran has noticed on the rise in Malaysia is convenience, likely linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response the company has created breakfast kits and sets to address this. tendency.
“It was always our bread that was the most popular [and now] we curated muffin sets and breakfast kits (made with oats, chia seeds, dried fruit and granola) – It looks like products not only healthy, but also convenient [and] will last for weeks at a time to stay / work in families at home, have become more and more popular â,she says.
Fresco Grano products are available at several major grocery chains in Malaysia including Jaya Grocer, Ben’s Independent Grocer, Village Grocer, The Food Company and more; as well as online.
Thwarted expansion plans
The company’s main consumer base is in Malaysia and in particular in the country’s most populous region, the Klang Valley, and although Sankaran remains hopeful for overseas expansion, the situation of Malaysia’s COVID-19 pandemic – which averages over 17,000 cases per day at the time of writing – is making this bleak at least for the near future.
âIn view of the uncertainties associated with functioning in the event of a pandemic, we had to [our expansion] plans are on hold at the moment – although we would really like to be able to bring Fresco Grano all over Asia one day â,she says.
âFor now, we will focus our energies on making operations run smoothly. “
She is also committed to continuing the company’s commitment, even in difficult times, to using only organic and natural ingredients and to omitting artificial colors, preservatives, flavors, dough conditioners or flavor enhancers.