Interview With Tat Hui * Product Samples From Tat Hui 1 * Product Samples From Tat Hui 2 * KOKA Signature Chicken Flavor Instant Noodles * KOKA Silk Spicy Marinara Instant Rice Fettuccine * KOKA Delight Laksa Singapura Flavor Instant Non-Fried Noodles * KOKA Creamy Soup With Crushed Noodles Curry Flavor * KOKA Signature Stir-Fry Original Flavor Instant Noodles *
I found the KOKA products on Instagram recently and thought hey – it’s the 15th anniversary of The Ramen Rater, I thought I should try and reach out and see if they’d like to do a Meet The Manufacturer. They did a while back – they were the first company to do one actually! Back then, I reviewed export versions available in the United States. This time around, they’re varieties sold in Singapore. I had the chance to interview the Marketing Team of Tat Hui Foods Pte. Ltd.
Interview With Tat Hui Foods Pte. Ltd. – Singapore
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for taking part in Meet The Manufacturer! To start the interview, can you tell me about the history and founding of Tat Hui?
TAT HUI> The founder of Tat Hui Foods Pte Ltd, Mr Lim Hi Lay laid the first foundations to
KOKA in 1985. He was eager to share the rich culture and unique character of
Singaporean cuisine with the rest of the world through his humble instant noodles. Our
products were first introduced to Asian grocery markets in the US, Europe, and Australia,
followed by mainstream market exposure in Europe and the Middle East.
TRR> What was the first product you manufactured?
TAT HUI> KOKA Original Instant Noodles. This is the range that continues to be the most popular amongst overseas markets.
TRR> Your headquarters are in Singapore. What is life like there?
TAT HUI> The air-conditioning is constantly on in our office, given the heat and humidity in
Singapore. In this office, you’ll find a considerable proportion of employees who’ve been with us throughout the years, the old guard if you will, working with new blood to
constantly keep up with the ever-changing needs of consumers today.
TRR> Can you tell us about the different varieties of noodles you make?
TAT HUI> We have six different ranges available: Original, Signature (No MSG), Delight (Nonfried, No MSG), Silk (Rice Noodles), Purple Wheat and Creamy Soup.
TRR> How many noodle products do you produce every year?
TAT HUI> On average, we produce around 320 million packs every year.
TRR> Do you make varieties suitable for Vegetarians? Vegans?
TAT HUI> Yes, we do have noodles suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans. If you’re interested in a particular flavor, just refer to the packaging or visit our website:
http://www.kokanoodles.com/ to confirm that it is appropriate for vegetarians/vegans.
TRR> Why the name Tat Hui?
TAT HUI> Tat Hui is derived from the company’s name in mandarin : 达辉 which can be translated as ‘to achieve brilliance’.
TRR> Why the name KOKA?
TAT HUI> KOKA is derived from our brand name in mandarin (可口, meaning delicious); it is a
play on the phonetic pronunciation in mandarin – which is pronounced something like
TRR> Many of your products are non-fried. How are they produced then?
TAT HUI> Our non-fried noodles go through a steaming and baking process instead of the
conventional way of deep frying the noodle cakes. This enables us to provide consumers
with an alternative which is much lower in fat content.
TRR> What kind of noodles do you use in your products? What are the differences between
TAT HUI> We have traditional instant noodles, wholegrain noodles, purple wheat noodles and rice noodles.
TRR> What are the benefits of the purple noodles you produce?
TAT HUI> In addition to being lower in fat, KOKA Purple Wheat Noodles provide 3 times more
antioxidants than red grapes. These antioxidants are known as anthocyanins, which is naturally present in purple grains.
TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle
TAT HUI> The way we do our fried noodles is similar to other brands but we are using a different process when it comes to our fat-free noodles which has a softer and smoother texture. This in turn, will also reduce the cooking time for our consumers.
TRR> Is the purple noodle process different from other instant noodles you produce?
TAT HUI> Our Purple Wheat noodles are non-fried and steam-baked, just like our Delight range.
TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend
people enjoy your product and do you take this into consideration during production/R&D?
TAT HUI> Yes, we have to take this into consideration during R&D. If people want to restrict their
sodium intake, they can further reduce the amount of seasoning they add into the noodles
and we would encourage them to add more vegetables or fish for a well-balanced meal!
TRR> Does your company involve itself with local community or participate in charities?
TAT HUI> Yes, we do sponsor charities and various events every year, like overseas disaster relief, non-profit organizations such as Lions Clubs Singapore, various churches and the less fortunate in Singapore.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
TAT HUI> We launched Koka Creamy Soup not long ago; it comes in 6 different flavours:
Mushroom, Chicken, Hot & Sour, Vegetable, Curry and Sweet Corn.
TRR> In what countries are your products popular? Do people enjoy them differently in
TAT HUI> Our products are popular in over 40 countries around the world, including Europe,
Middle East, Asia and Australia. We often have people emailing us to let us know how much they love our noodles! Yes, we do notice that everyone enjoys their noodles differently; People in Western countries like their noodles dry whereas in Asian countries, they enjoy their noodles either dry or with a full bowl of soup. We have shared some creative and tasty creations from fans around the world on our Facebook and Instagram as well. Do search for #KokaMoments 😉
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them
extra special (garnish, etc)?
TAT HUI> We asked around in the office and we got some really interesting answers for you!
Mun Hin – Vegetables (especially carrots) and a dash of pepper
Kat – All types of vegetables!
Nat – Vegetables, tofu and eggs
Ms Leow – Fresh vegetables and eggs
Feng Lan – Seafood (Especially with Tom Yum flavor instant noodles)
Sharon – IKEA meatballs and a braised egg
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for this opportunity for myself and my readers to learn more about Tat Hui and KOKA products!