“We have begun looking seriously into the food business, and a good place to enter is the Asian sauces market,” Fung said. “People’s tastes around the world have become more diversified and they are willing to try new things, it’s not just ketchup in the West.”
The Fung Group, which he owns with younger brother William Fung Kwok-lun, went on a buying spree between 2015 and 2017, snapping up established household names in soy sauce and condiments in Singapore, Japan and Malaysia.
They took over Singapore’s 83-year-old Woh Hup in 2015, bought an 85 per cent stake in Hamada in 2016, and added 74-year-old Angel of Malaysia in 2017.
It was a change for the 110-year-old family business, which had long focused on supply chain services, with its controlling interest in Hong Kong-listed Li & Fung. It also runs Toys ‘R’ Us in Asia and distributes high-end fashion European brands Kent & Curwen and Gieves & Hawkes.
Victor Fung noted that the global market for heritage Asian sauces was growing at 4 per cent annually, with half that growth coming from Asia.
There are challenges with the ongoing US-China trade war, but he shrugged them off, saying: “Food is a daily necessity.” He also intends to sell his sauces in the United States.