Southeast Asia has a thirst for Sobah

Leonardo Groom National Sales and Customer Experience Manager Sobah | Newsreel
Sobah National Sales and Customer Experience Manager Leonardo Groom at Food & Hotel Asia 2024. | Photo: Supplied by Austrade

A Gold Coast craft brewery was among the star attractions at Food & Hotel Asia 2024.

Sobah, which operates out of Burleigh Heads, was one of 160 companies showcased at the Australian Pavilion of the Singapore event, which is one the region’s largest food and beverage exhibitions.

The April event attracted 1500 exhibitors from more than 50 countries and 60,000 attendees, including buyers from Southeast Asia’s major food and beverage retailers.

Austrade Singapore Trade and Investment Commissioner Helen Oh said Sobah, a First Nation’s business, impressed visitors with its unique non-alcoholic brews made from native Australian ingredients.

Ms Oh said there was strong interest in non-alcoholic beverages, with demand for the product growing across Southeast Asia.

She said the Australia Pavilion featured fresh produce and healthy, innovative products, with many having a strong focus on sustainability.

Visitors had the chance to taste products from leading Australian brands, including Bulla, Frosty Boy, and Primo.

“Buyers expressed their delight at tasting some Australian products for the first time. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many buyers emphasised the exceptional quality of Australian produce,” Ms Oh said.

Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing markets for Australian agricultural exports.

“Population growth, rapid urbanisation, rising incomes and escalating food security requirements will continue driving Southeast Asian needs for agricultural products to 2040,” Ms Oh said.

“There will be greater consumption of meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products and manufactured foods as diets diversify and average wages increase (and) there will be a growing appetite for cleaner, sustainable and ethically sourced foods as consumers increasingly prioritise health and food safety in their food choices.”

Read about agribusiness and food opportunities in Invested: Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040.