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Ya Kun Kaya Toast
SINGAPORE’S Ya Kun International, which operates a chain of Ya Kun Kaya Toast coffee outlets in the republic, has entered separate master-franchise agreements with parties in Taiwan and South Korea this year.
By mid-year, when South Korea’s first outlet opens in Seoul and Taiwan’s in Taipei, consumers in the two cities will be able to sample Ya Kun’s signature crispy kaya
(sweet spread made from coconut milk and egg) toast and coffee.
The outlet in Seoul will be sited next to Cine City, in the heart of the trendy Apkujung commercial district, followed by a second outlet on Teheran Road — a modern business district. Stephen S Yeum, president and CEO of Ya Kun Korea Inc, is confident of opening
20 Ya Kun outlets in the next three years and at least 35 outlets over five years.
Meanwhile, the Taipei outlet is set for the up-andcoming Neihu district. There are plans for at least 10 outlets in the city in the year ahead. John Lin, managing principal for Ya Kun Taiwan, believes that the distinctive business concept and unique product offerings of Singapore’s Ya Kun Kaya Toast will help spur a new food culture on Taiwan’s exciting but competitive F&B scene.
Coming almost two years after granting a master franchise in Indonesia in June 2003, the signing of the latest agreements adds to the momentum of the company’s foray into international markets, said Ya Kun in a press statement.
On a constant look-out for masterfranchise or direct-investment opportunities overseas, the company took part in JETRO’s (Japanese External TradeOrganization) Invest Japan Study Program earlier this year as well as in FOODEX 2005, a leading food exhibition held in Tokyo in March.
Ya Kun is looking at launching its kaya in Japan in the next 12 months and to set up its first outlet there by early 2007.
Today, there are 16 Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlets in Singapore and six inIndonesia. By this July, two more outlets will open in Singapore, where more than 500 interested parties are on
queue for the franchise. The company has stopped granting local franchises to fresh applicants since 2004.
Enquiries are also streaming in from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, India and China. Said Adrin Loi, executive chairman, Ya Kun International:
“Franchising, a longterm relationship, is often likened to a marriage. We would rather be careful in choosing the right partner to ensure that our business remains viable in every country that we go to.”
On how the company views increasing competition from copycats in Singapore, Loi responded: “We welcome healthy competition, because the ultimate beneficiaries are
“For our part, we will continue to harness the value of our 60-year-old brand, innovate
our products and operations, and maintain a strong tie-up with government agencies
such as the Singapore Tourism Board and IE Singapore to promote this uniquely-Singapore product.
“We had a strong head start and a good team, and we intend to leverage these advantages to make Ya Kun not only a well-known home-grown name, but also an international brand that will make Singaporeans proud.”