December 10, 2017

Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Olagafood

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Olagafood Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Olagafood - Alhami Mikka Maitri - The Ramen Rater - instant noodles

Interview With Olagafood * Product Samples From Olagafood (1 of 2) * Product Samples From Olagafood (2 of 2) *  Alhami Mi Instan Mi Goreng SpesialMaitri Vegetarian Rasa SotoMikka Noodle Snack Sambal Balado Chilli Sauce FlavourMaitri Vegetarian Hot Curry FlavorAlhami Instant Noodle Prawn FlavourMikka Noodle Snack Roasted Corn FlavourMaitri Vegetarian Extra Hot Mie GorengMikka Noodle Snack Barbeque FlavourAlhami Instant Noodle Beef FlavourAlhami Instant Noodles Chicken Curry FlavorMaitri Vegetarian Mie GorengAlhami Instant Noodle Chicken Curry FlavorAlhami Instant Noodle Soto FlavorMaitri Instant Noodle Vegetarian Soup FlavorAlhami Instant Noodle Chicken Flavor

Months back, I contacted Olagafood as I was very curious about their product line and wanted to try and do a Meet Thre Manufacturer series with them. I got an affirmative response and here today we start the series. Olagafood is located in Indonesia, a country where I have difficulty procuring new products and varieties from.

I’m also excited that Waroeng Jajanan, a local Indonesian restaurant, and shop will be sponsoring this series with food that will be used to garnish these varieties! Thank you!

Alright, lets get started with the series with an interview with Mikka Law, Vice Director at  Olagafood.

Interview With Olagafood – Indonesia

THE RAMEN RATER>  Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview! Could we start off with some information about Olagafood; when was it founded, where and by who?

OLAGAFOOD> Olagafood has been in food and beverages business for 20 years now. It was started in a Medan city in North Sumatra, Indonesia. We have grown to establish 2 more factories in Jakarta and Surabaya as well. Our market is mainly in Indonesia, and we have expanded to 24 countries around the world. Our philosophy since the beginning is to produce products with high quality and healthy ingredients with an affordable price.

TRR> For those of my readers who are not familiar with your line of products, could you tell us a little about them?

OLAGAFOOD> Our flagship product is Instant Noodle, and we are actually the only company that produces Vegan/Vegetarian Instant Noodle in Indonesia. Also, now we produce ready-to-drink beverages in PET bottles and snacks as well.

TRR> I’m wondering what does Olagafood mean?

OLAGAFOOD> The word “Olaga” actually comes from “Olahraga,” which means Fitness in Indonesian/Bahasa language. We want to portray ourselves as healthy food and beverages company.

TRR> There’s some pretty serious competition in the Indonesian instant noodle market it seems – what makes your products different than others?

OLAGAFOOD> We believe our main difference is we aim to manufacture with better ingredients, non-preservatives, less MSG, less sodium and other highly-known “bad” ingredients in instant food products, but without sacrificing the taste by replacing them with other more natural ingredients. Our product “MAITRI” is pure vegan and vegetarian which is the one and only in Indonesia. It serves a niche market of vegetarians in Indonesia and the world, but so far it remains popular among the vegetarian and non-vegetarian due to its quality.

TRR> Any plans for an instant noodle plant in the United States or elsewhere in the world?

OLAGAFOOD> We have not plan to have a facility outside Indonesia yet, but there is, of course, an opportunity to invest in a new plant outside. The closest that we are seeking to invest in is in the Africa region. We see lots of opportunity lying there. So far we have been exporting to Africa for quite some time. We believe when the time is right, we will make the move.

TRR> Are involved in the local community around you?

OLAGAFOOD> Yes, we are actually a family business that is also community-based. Beyond the company perks such as health insurance and other benefits, we support our workers in their education, their children’s education with scholarship program and also their Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. We are also building infrastructure to support their living; such as houses around the factories, building roads around the neighborhood, building a mosque and supporting the city government where we are doing business in.

TRR>How many packs, cups, and bowls of instant noodles do you make in a year?

OLAGAFOOD> We produce roughly 18 million cartons per year and 50 million bottles of beverages each year.

TRR> Are there any new products that will be coming out soon that you could tell us about?

OLAGAFOOD> Yes, we keep developing new products and hope it will come out soon. We can only give you some sneak peek, we are targeting a new set of the market with higher-end instant noodle. It will be something bigger, much spicier, and better! We are also coming out with more snack products soon. We will surely send you some when they are ready.

TRR> The varieties of food in Indonesia are amazing – how do you integrate these flavors into your products?

OLAGAFOOD> True, Indonesia has some amazing varieties of food. We do incorporate some of the flavors into our recipes such as Soto flavor and Rendang flavor.

TRR> A lot of people wonder about the health factors (sodium, etc.) when it comes to instant noodles. How do you recommend people made instant noodles a healthy part of their diet?

OLAGAFOOD> From the manufacturer’s perspective, we believe that instant noodle is just the same as other processed foods available in the market. It is just that instant noodles in Indonesia are seen as a staple food to replace rice dishes, which we think is not right. Any other processed foods that are consumed on a daily basis will not be beneficial for the body. Talking about sodium, it contains a tolerable amount of it, but it is not as high as processed meat’s sodium, however, instant noodle still should not be used as a replacement of rice, meat, and vegetables. Eating instant noodle as an afternoon “snack” every once in a while, will not affect our body as much.

TRR> Do you make/sell products other than instant noodles?

OLAGAFOOD> Yes, we have beverages products such as orange juice which we imported the orange pulp from Florida, USA. We also have tea beverages in ready-to-drink PET bottles. They come in many different flavors such as Apple, Lychee, Peach, Honey Lemon, Mango, etc. Another line of products that we just recently launched is Snack noodle, they are children’s snacks with different types of seasonings.

TRR> What was your first product?

OLAGAFOOD> Our first product is INSTANT NOODLE; the brand name is ALHAMI.

TRR> When you make instant noodles for yourself, do you add anything or have any recommendations?

OLAGAFOOD> We usually cook a pack of instant noodle with its seasoning plus an egg, green vegetables, and slices of chilies. Instant Noodle itself already contains vitamins but we suggest to add egg and vegetables to make it more complete and nutritious as a meal.

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity for me and my readers to learn more about Olagafood!

Alright – thank you very much to Mikka and Davin at Olagafood and Jonathan at Waroeng Jajanan! Let’s get this series started!

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