It is an undeniable fact that the brand of a product is one of the first things that catch people’s attention. After all, it sets the tone for the product’s identity, which is what most customers build their trust upon.
Among the many brands you’ve come across, did you know that some of these are established by Singaporeans? There are plenty of world-famous Singaporean brands across various categories, from food and fashion to tech and wellness! Here are ten of them that even locals may not have known are actually homegrown.
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Food & beverage brands
Back in 2000, Singapore’s traditional bakery scene was already filled with many established brands that had a loyal customer base. Yet, the visionary BreadTalk managed to score a breakthrough with its creative and fresh concepts, such as having open-concept bakeries and seasonal menu offerings. Today, BreadTalk is synonymous with its Flosss Buns, which are well-loved for the generous amounts of pork floss topped on buttered fluffy buns.
Aside from its main bakery business, BreadTalk’s other notable brands include Toast Box, Food Republic, and Food Junction. It also owns certain franchise rights in other countries for foreign partner brands like Din Tai Fung and Song Fa Bak Ku Teh.
2. Bee Cheng Hiang
Bee Cheng Hiang has long been one of the staple Singaporean brands. It has remained a household name since its establishment in 1933. Specialising in bakkwa (aka barbecued meat), its outlets are packed with customers whenever the Chinese New Year season comes around. The brand still retains its original recipe: Marinated meat is laid out over traditional bamboo sieves, before being smoked in a charcoal oven.
The brand has since grown to 366 outlets across 11 Asian territories and remains the market leader in Singapore’s barbecue meat industry.
3. Yeo’s (Yeo Hiap Seng)
We all may know Yeo’s for its assortment of Asian beverages, but many people are unaware of its humble beginnings as a soy sauce brand. After tiding through World War II, the company began diversifying its product lines. This saw the introduction of its canned curry chicken and traditional soy milk; the latter remaining a top choice among Singaporeans.
Although primarily targeting the Southeast Asian markets, the conglomerate has a presence in other regions such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Some of its other notable in-house brands include H-Two-O, Justea, and Pink Dolphin.
4. Fraser & Neave (F&N)
Named after its founders Scotsmen John Fraser and David Chalmers Neave, F&N was once called The Singapore and Straits Aerated Water Company. Throughout its 139 years of history, F&N has partnered with many brands to manufacture and distribute products in the Singapore market. One such venture was with Heineken, which saw the creation of Singapore’s first homegrown beer: Tiger Beer.
While F&N no longer has stakes in those beer brands, it now has a myriad of sub-brands under its umbrella. These include Ice Mountain, Seasons, Magnolia, and NutriSoy.
Salted eggs have always been a staple in local Asian dishes, but it was IRVIN’S who saw success in making salted egg snacks. Using carefully picked ingredients like curry leaves and chilli peppers, the snack’s addictive umami flavour propelled IRVIN’S to worldwide success. Additionally, it has launched collaborations with Cotton On and Nissin to create its own clothing line and instant noodles, respectively.
Within three years, the company now operates in 12 overseas markets including China, Canada, and even Dubai. It has also become a must-buy item for foreigners looking to bring a taste of Singapore back to their home country.
Also read: Singapore Souvenirs: 27 Unique Things to Bring Home
Beauty & wellness brands from Singapore
OSIM gets its name from the amalgamation of its founder’s surname and the letter “O” — which is said to symbolise the globe. Most famous for its Japanese shiatsu-style luxury massage chairs, the company created a repertoire for its reliable and extensive product lineup. The brand has also been endorsed by many celebrities such as Mandopop stars JJ Lin, Andy Lau, and Sammi Cheng, as well as South Korean heartthrob Lee Min-ho.
Setting its sights to become the global leader in its field, OSIM works with other wellness brands, such as GNC and TWG Tea, to inspire customers to lead better and healthier lives.
7. Charles & Keith
Out of the many Singaporean brands, Charles & Keith is probably one brand that you would’ve seen the most. From a small ladies’ footwear store in Amara Shopping Centre, the store designed its in-house products and rapidly expanded overseas. By targeting the affordable luxury market, Charles & Keith struck a chord with fashion-conscious shoppers.
After seeing its success, the company also launched its sister brand, Pedro. This one specialises in the creation of elegant and sophisticated products that are mainly for the modern working man.
Also read: 18 Must-Try Singapore Beauty Brands From Skincare to Makeup
Technology brands founded locally
8. Sea Limited = Garena, AirPay, and Shopee
First founded by Forrest Li in 2009, Sea Limited started as an online tech company under the moniker Garena. In the following years, Li created a new digital payments service and a mobile shopping business: AirPay and Shopee, respectively. These businesses were then consolidated under Sea Limited in 2017, reflecting the company’s ambition in its Southeast Asia home ground.
Shopee has now joined the ranks as one of the internationally-known Singaporean brands, becoming a force to be reckoned with in a short span of five years. Garena has also been rapidly expanding its international presence, having acquired Vancouver-based Phoenix Labs in Jan 2021.
9. Creative Technology
Have you ever wondered how your computer can detect audio input and output? This was all possible due to the advent of sound cards. In the late 20th century, Creative Technology was known for its Sound Blaster sound cards, which were the de facto standard for IBM computers. This paved the way for subsequent generations of sound cards; the most recent edition allows users to control the bass and virtual surround.
10. Razer Inc.
Razer’s triple-headed snake is one of the most recognised logos in the global gaming and e-sports communities. Founded by entrepreneurs Min-Liang Tan and Robert Krakoff, the gaming hardware company hopped onto the e-sports bandwagon early and designed high-end products that caught the attention of hardcore gamers. With the slogan “for gamers, by gamers”, Razer created an array of products that range from laptops to smartphones catered specifically for passionate gamers.
The company now has 18 officers worldwide, with dual headquarters in Singapore and Irvine, California.
Also read: Game-cation: Southeast Asia’s First Gaming Hotel Opens in Johor, Malaysia
With this, you now know the Singaporean brands that have placed the Little Red Dot on the world map!
Facebook image credit (left): Charles & Keith | Official Instagram Page