Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Noodle maker tries instant route

Noodle maker tries instant route

Bun Song, Managing Director of Phnom Penh Healthy Rice Noodle, speaks to the Post at the company’s distribution plant in Phnom Penh on Monday. Pha ina
Bun Song, Managing Director of Phnom Penh Healthy Rice Noodle, speaks to the Post at the company’s distribution plant in Phnom Penh on Monday. PHA LINA

Noodle maker tries instant route

Cambodia has always been a source for a broad variety of raw materials from the agricultural sector. The country exports many of these materials to neighbouring countries and other markets in the world – without turning them into new products.

This lack of domestic processing has made Cambodia lose potential income, as the country has to import most products from its neighbours, rather than selling them, because of insufficient technologies and equipment, not enough capital and a gap in trust in locally produced goods.

Some, however, are defying the status quo, using their own efforts to process raw materials and turning them into their own products. They create techniques to serve the local market, and at the same time challenge imported products.

One example is Phnom Penh Healthy Rice Noodle, a local company that has been producing wet rice noodles for 30 years. Five months ago, they transitioned and started making packaged instant rice noodles.

“The reason we produce instant noodles is because there were so many suggestions [coming] from our clients who consumed our wet noodles,” says Bun Song, marketing manager of Phnom Penh Healthy Rice Noodle.

The 34-year old says his family has been selling wet rice noodles for five generations, but the current generation decided to produce instant noodles – a decision that costed nearly $200,000 to buy a new processing machine.

“We have studied [the way to package products] for two years prior to the investment decision for producing the packaged instant noodles,” he said, adding that “we think carefully about how to make it hygienic without using chemicals.”

The enterprise is located in Bakheng Leu village in Bakheng commune of Russei Keo district in Phnom Penh and employs about 60 to 70 staff.

The business needs more than one tonne of milled rice in order to produce nearly 1,000 cases of instant noodles. One case consist of 30 packages.

For the last five months, Song said the product has circulated in 15 provinces across the country, except for remote areas such as Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri and Banteay Meanchey.

He said he tried to market the product by cooking for people in front of crowded markets, with 30 to 40 cases of noodles given away for free to curious customers every morning.

“My project [has to] capture the local market first, to make people recognise our products in all provinces,” he said, adding that “in the future, I believe our products will [be sold] throughout the [whole] country”.

Because there are already similar products in Cambodia’s food sector, his product has competitors, especialy from imported goods.

But Song says the most important thing is that people are satisfied with the taste and that the products meet the quality expectations of the customers, an exchange that will win trust.

“It is normal [to have] competition from similar products from other countries, but I think Cambodian products do not stand lower [in quality than] foreign products,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said