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Chinese hotpot chain to arrive in Myanmar by year’s end

YOMA Strategic will launch Myanmar’s first franchise restaurant, Little Sheep, later this year.

Little Sheep originated from China’s Inner Mongolia Province in 1999 and now has 300 outlets across 120 regions. A subsidiary of Yum China Holdings, the Baotou-headquartered restaurant chain is renowned for its hotpot broth made from a wide variety of herbs and spices including goji berries, jujubes, black cardamom pods and ginseng.

CEO of Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Melvyn Pun said that bringing in the chain will build on the existing food and beverage business and “capture the opportunity presented by rapid growth in consumer spending”.

“Hotpot is a perennial favourite in Myanmar and Little Sheep offers an exciting twist on this much-loved dish.This is an important step towards our goal of becoming the market leading food and beverage business in the country and it’s with great excitement that we introduce Little Sheep Mongolian hotpot to Myanmar,” Mr Pun commented.

The first outlet is scheduled to open in Yangon during the fourth quarter this year.

Yoma said that the country’s consumer market is growing fast and an increase in the average disposable income is driving a shift in consumer spending habits on more lifestyle products.

“By 2020 it is estimated the number of consumers at or above the middle-class salary bracket in Myanmar will reach 10 million,” the company said in a press statement.

The hotpot chain is the latest addition to Yoma Strategic’s expanding food and beverage portfolio. Since 2015, the company has operated the local branches of US fast-food chain KFC. Currently, there are 23 KFC outlets across the country but the company plans to increase this to 32 by March 2019. In addition, the company recently announced a joint venture with Pernod Ricard, a producer of Chivas and Ballentine’s, to manufacture and distribute whisky in Myanmar. Pernod Ricard intends to install an internationally experienced management team and become the largest shareholder in the JV. The remaining equity will be split between Yoma, private equity firm Delta Capital Myanmar, U Htun Win and U Zaw Win.

Last year, another joint venture was set up with Germany-based Metro Group to establish a one-stop food distribution platform in Myanmar. Yoma tooka 15pc stake and the rest remained in Metro’s ownership.

Right now, in Yangon, chain restaurant Shwe Kaung Hot Pot is popular among the residents, with numerous branches scattering across the commercial capital.

Source: Myanmar Times

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