Commonwealth Capital’s
$70 million Food Infrastructure Investment
Redefines F&B Landscape

11 January 2017

Charles Rollet
Phnom Penh Post

Commonwealth Capital Pte Ltd (Commonwealth Capital), the investment holding company with a portfolio of popular F&B brands such as PastaMania, Swissbake, Baker & Cook, Kraftwich, Roxy Laksa, The Soup Spoon, Gelatofix, Udders and ZAC Meat, unveiled its $70 million integrated food logistics, production and services facility at an opening ceremony graced by Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister & Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies.
The massive 300,000 square feet facility at 7 Buroh Lane incorporates state-of-the-art food production and warehousing capabilities that transcend the entire food vertical. From its 100% halal-certified manufacturing and cold chain logistics capabilities, which serves the HORECA (Hotel/Restaurant/Café) and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) segments, to its 151 F&B cafes and restaurants in 12 countries and counting, this $70 million investment is the outcome of its 3-year transformation plan, which the Commonwealth Group embarked on in 2013.
Andrew Kwan, Group Managing Director of Commonwealth Capital, said, “The new facility bears out our vision of creating an integrated and inclusive food solutions group, providing a combined platform to our customers and our own portfolio of brands to enjoy economies of scale and wider networks to venture internationally. The Group is embracing future food trends in its plans, with a focus on offering consumers healthier choices, ‘ready-to-eat’ and ‘ready-to-cook’ convenience as well as peace of mind with advanced food manufacturing methodology and standards,” added Mr Kwan.


Aligning to the Group’s vision of ‘building great brands that nourish the world’, its investment mandate focuses on technologies that improve quality, taste, shelf life and productivity. For example, the recently commissioned High Pressure Processing (HPP) line, a first in Singapore, enables extension of shelf life and retention of sensorial and nutritional properties of food through its cold pasteurising technique. Another innovation is the proprietary MicroThermik™ processing, where food can be optimally cooked through precise application of calibrated heat. In this instance, the food is never over or under-cooked and can thereafter be stored at ambient temperature for up to 12 months, paving the way for export opportunities. Both these complementary food manufacturing processes allow for the advent of clean label products in Singapore where the extension of shelf lives is achieved without the use of artificial preservatives.
On the warehousing and logistics front, the newly minted automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) in a minus 28-degree Celsius environment, houses some 5,600 pallets in 14,000 square feet of floor space, as compared to a conventional warehouse that typically will need up to 60,000 square feet of space. With advanced algorithmic controllers in place, the fully automated technology enables the intelligent extraction and deployment of pallets without human intervention – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
As part of the drive towards automation and streamlining its operations, Commonwealth Capital also invested in a group-wide Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) system, replacing seven different accounting software in the process and forming a central IT spine to link all its businesses – from supply chain logistics, through manufacturing to front-line point-of-sales. This allows the group to harness the benefits of big data analytics as it re-tools itself for the immediate future.


The consolidation of operations at its new facility has also opened doors for Commonwealth Capital to collaborate with and invest in established F&B brands, and create compelling offerings to enter new market segments and widen the reach of made-in-Singapore food.
The most recent example was the launch of ‘The Common Good Company’ (TCGC) brand, a strategic collaboration between PastaMania, The Soup Spoon, Udders, and Chef Willin Low of the Wild Rocket Group. TCGC carries a range of innovative ready-to-eat food for Cheers convenience stores at selected Esso stations with plans to roll out island-wide.


Since the introduction of SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programmes for the food manufacturing and food services sectors in 2015, Commonwealth Capital has actively nurtured local talents by hiring fresh graduates from polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE), exposing them to on-the-job training and work-based projects, that serve to raise their level of competency and relevance at the workplace.
With a soon-to-be-ready training facility for hands-on practical training, as well as classrooms to conduct lessons in food science and technology, the Commonwealth Group is well-positioned to increase its enrolment of local talents to 120 head count per intake. This will allow for waves of change, co-creation and continuous learning within the Group, well into the future.

Building great brands
that nourish the world.