Lao noodle maker eyes Myanmar market
Well known for outlets in various Vientiane locations for its fish flavoured noodle soup (khaopiekloukxinpa) or rice noodle soup with fish meatballs, the SaepEeli noodle brand is aiming to enhance its taste and flavour for the international market, its founder says.
Ms LatsamyVetsaphong said her ‘SaepEeli noodle' brand was aiming for market expansion in the region by upgrading its noodle production, flavours and packaging using skills and knowledge on both sides of the Mekong.
So far, some 240 million kip or one million baht has been spent on hiring Thai researchers and experts to work on researching for noodles that will meet the standard expected by regional customers with an eye to the Myanmar market.
"I'm hiring the Thai experts from the Food and Drug Department to work on research and development for quality of noodles and packaging," Ms Latsamy told Vientiane Times yesterday.
"They [researchers] are working on the taste of the noodle to make sure it matches with my original flavour."
The company is expanding production across the border in Thailand to take advantage of existing capacity.
She went on to explain that Laos does not have a modern factory to produce such noodle lines, but if it had to be built, it could cost millions of US dollars.
"This is the only way to reduce the cost of the production budget," Ms Latsamy said.
The challenge was that Lao products must also be accredited to the international standard.
"I think if the noodle produced in Thailand received approval by its food and drug sector, it is one step closer to the Asean market, especially Myanmar," she said.
"Even though the noodles and the soup powder will be produced and packaged in Thailand, on the label it will be written and credited to SaepEeli Lao PDR," Ms Latsamy added.
Ms Latsamy said that the process of research and development was on track and model products would be released at the beginning of next year.
Ms Latsamy hopes that SaepEeli can win fans in the region.
She said the expansion of franchised outlets would go step by step to ensure positive feedback from regional markets.
In Vientiane alone, there are at least 7-8 SaepEeli noodle shops at various shopping malls.
Customers can also enjoy the taste of the company's famous noodles in the provinces including LuangPrabang, Champassak and Attapeu.