Laksa and Chicken Rice in a Wrap: Mr Popiah’s Recipe for Success - Mr Popiah
Laksa and Chicken Rice in a Wrap: Mr Popiah’s Recipe for Success

Originating in Singapore, Mr Popiah has carved a unique niche in the food industry, and their journey of adaptability and innovation amid challenges is nothing short of inspiring.


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic posed a formidable challenge for businesses worldwide, but for Mr Popiah, it ushered in an unexpected boon. With travel restrictions in place, the demand for their convenient microwavable wraps, featuring signature dishes like popiah, chicken burrito, and salted egg prawn wraps, surged by 20%. The shift towards online sales mitigated the decline in traditional restaurant sales.


Mr Popiah’s innovative spirit knows no borders. The company is in active discussions with potential partners in Australia, Indonesia, and the Middle East. These partners are eager to explore the introduction of custom flavors, and Mr Popiah has responded with creativity, offering unique options like Singapore laksa and chicken rice wraps.


To address a significant labor shortage brought on by the pandemic, Mr Popiah turned to automation, streamlining its production processes. Additionally, they welcomed elderly and disabled individuals into their workforce, offering them new opportunities. This transition not only sustained production levels but also promoted inclusivity and diversity.


Data-driven insights have been a key driver of Mr Popiah’s innovation. They have embraced data collection from various sources, including vending machines, online stores, supermarkets, and minimarts. This comprehensive approach allows them to understand consumer preferences and emerging trends more effectively. The company’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve is evident, especially in response to the growing demand for healthier food options.


While many food manufacturers focus solely on their products, Mr Popiah sees itself as a problem solver. Their mission is to address market gaps and solve emerging issues. In a world filled with high-tech firms, Mr Popiah’s focus on traditional and beloved dishes like popiah has earned them a spot in the spotlight.


The Mr Popiah story began in a coffee shop stall in Bedok North during the early 1990s, founded by Lewis Tan’s parents. This modest beginning paved the way for the company’s incorporation in 1995. Tragedy struck in 2015 when Lewis Tan’s father, Tan Tok Hoo, passed away suddenly. However, this marked a turning point as Lewis, despite having little business experience, was determined to preserve his father’s legacy. His mother, Li Li Hong, serves as the company’s managing director.


As they continue to evolve and grow, Mr Popiah is not resting on its laurels. The company is actively working to increase brand awareness among consumers and elevate the status of popiah as a quintessential Singaporean dish. As Lewis Tan passionately puts it, “People always say chicken rice is a Singaporean dish, but popiah is a Singaporean food too.”


Source: The Business Times – Published by Sharon See on December 1, 2021

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