Bak kut teh eatery among local brands getting Made With Passion mark
It may be an iconic dish in Singapore these days, but bak kut teh was seldom seen as such back in the late 1960s.
At the time, the clear peppery pork rib soup was favoured more by blue-collar workers like taxi drivers and trishaw drivers, as well as the older generation, and was often overshadowed by other iconic dishes such as chicken rice and laksa.
But more than 50 years later, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, one of the prominent bak kut teh restaurants here, was one of the 64 local brands given the Made With Passion (MWP) brand mark yesterday.
Launched in November last year, the MWP initiative is led by the Singapore Brand Office and the Singapore Tourism Board and aims to promote consumer awareness and drive support for local brands.
Brands under the initiative can benefit from more exposure, such as through tie-ups with online marketplaces, as well as collaboration with other MWP brands to push out innovative products.
COLLAGEN ICE CREAM
One example is how home-grown ice cream brand Udders collaborated with wellness brand Kinohimitsu to create a collagen ice cream earlier this year.
With the new additions, there are now a total of 111 brands under the initiative, up from the pioneer batch of 47 last year.
More than 300 applications were received after the open call in April this year.
Professor Kapil R. Tuli, co-chair of the MWP Strategic Council, said six trade associations, such as the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, had helped to formulate the selection criteria and evaluated the applications this year.
He said: "There was a two-stage process. The first stage had tangible metrics, which had to do with business performance of the brands, and the next stage was qualitative, to identify the essence of passion in these brands that applied.
"These submissions were evaluated carefully by the trade associations, which arrived at a final list after looking at the mix of qualitative and quantitative criteria."
Other local brands given the MWP brand mark this year included beauty chain Browhaus, furniture store Scanteak and soya bean chain Mr Bean.
To help these local brands reach international customers, MWP will also be collaborating with Airbnb Experiences, a platform that allows consumers to book in-person or virtual activities hosted locally.
A partnership with retailer KrisShop will also see MWP products being showcased at pop-ups in Orchard Road and at airport lounges.
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh director Diana Yeo said the company is grateful for the recognition.
"To be recognised as a Singapore brand indicates that our passion, attitude and support from customers and people around us will actually pay off," she said.