Meet The Manufacturer: Interview With Suprama

Interview With Suprama * Product Samples From Suprama * Best Wok Mi Goreng Hot & Spicy (New Recipe) * Dara x Ciptarasa Ayam Bawang * Best Wok Mi Goreng Original * Dara x Ciptarasa Mi Goreng * Best Wok Mi Goreng Black Pepper Seafood Flavour

It’s been awhile since the last Meet The Manufacturer series, but it’s time for a new one! Suprama makes two ranges – Dara and the most well known Best Wok. I conducted an interview with Tjun Sulestio, Chief Operations Officer – have a read!

THERAMENRATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Suprama?

SUPRAMA> Suprama was started in 1972 by my grandfather as a small noodles factory in Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia.

TRR> What was the first product you manufactured?

SUPRAMA> Dry noodles.

TRR> Your company is located in Indonesia. Can you tell us a little about your country?

SUPRAMA> Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago with over 17,500 islands and the country with the largest Muslim population. Formerly a Dutch colony referred to as the Dutch East Indies, Indonesia is a maritime nation with a rich heritage spanning many cultures, tribes and languages. Indonesia is also famed for its natural resources, flora and fauna.

TRR> Why the name ‘Best Wok?

SUPRAMA> My father wanted a name that represents culinary excellence.

TRR> You recently received some accolades from a well known influencer in Indonesia on your Mi Goreng – can you tell us about that?

SUPRAMA> At the end of October 2021, one of Indonesia’s topmost social media influencers and food critic Tasyi Athasyia posted a ‘Mi Goreng Instant Noodles Battle’ video on her popular Youtube channel as part of her regular series, where she conducts blind tasting sessions as a way to objectively rank the best brands in each product category. In that particular battle, our Best Wok Mi Goreng Original flavor emerged as the winner which shocked Tasyi and her viewers into a social media frenzy. It was such an unexpected victory that it even made national news because an unknown small player managed to beat a legendary product that is considered the world’s best-selling Mi Goreng. The impact created an immediate shortage of Best Wok Mi Goreng to the point where our online stores had to create a 15-day pre-order system, which was unheard of at the time.

TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of instant noodles you make?

SUPRAMA> Best Wok Mi Goreng comes in 3 variants – Original, Hot & Spicy and Black Pepper Seafood.

TRR> In what countries are your products available?

SUPRAMA> Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa, Suriname, Fiji.

TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?

SUPRAMA> Our noodle manufacturing process is very much the standard. We have an ISO 22000 Certification of Food Safety.

TRR> Are instant noodles the only products you make?

SUPRAMA> We are actually first and foremost a dry noodles specialist before we branched to instant noodles.

TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?

SUPRAMA> Instant food products are normally sodium-heavy and therefore should be enjoyed in moderation and balanced with proper intake of drinking water.

TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?

SUPRAMA> Our parent company has a CSR program involving local communities. We also actively conduct free workshops with local government for small food businesses.

TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?

SUPRAMA> You bet! 2022 will be the most exciting year yet, especially for Best Wok. Stay tuned. 

TRR> Do have a funny story you can share about something that happened at your company?

SUPRAMA> Now that we can look back at the end of 2021, it seems quite comical how stressed out we were in the immediate aftermath of Best Wok going viral. We alternated between a zombie-like shock to a fevered dash like headless chickens, all the while trying to grasp the magnitude of the sudden sales spike and do our best to meet every demand. But at the time, it was nerve-racking.

TRR> How has the pandemic affected your company and how have you had to adapt?

SUPRAMA> We noticed a shift in the consumer buying pattern as they moved towards more economical products. Supermarket sales slumped and some places even closed permanently, leaving us with less outlets to sell from. We adapted by making our operations more efficient.

TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?

SUPRAMA> For our dry noodles, the simplest indulgence is mixing the hot cooked noodles with garlic oil, powdered stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and pepper. For Best Wok Mi Goreng, it is perfectly fine without any extra toppings.

TRR> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Suprama and your products!

SUPRAMA> You’re very welcome!

Thanks again for doing the interview! Well, that kicks off the series! Let’s get started!

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