Growing up in the 1990s, I remember the times when my grandmother would pick me up after school and we would head across to the hawker centre to get my favourite tau huey and mee jiang kueh. These were simple food, extremely cheap and yet mouth-wateringly addictive.
20 years on, times have changed. From busy businessman to young school kids rushing in between school and enrichment classes, every segment of our society has evolved to being pressed for time.
Many of the best traditional stalls selling these local delights have since disappeared. But thankfully, we still have local snack shops around that have adapted to the times, that still bring us that familiar taste we love. To me, they are the best alternative to the local delights once provided by the now fading hawker stalls.
One such outlet is Jollibean. Jollibean is a pioneer brand that has established themselves as one of the leading one-stop local snack shops in Singapore. I personally love Jollibean because they provide a healthy and convenient alternative to those nostalgic snacks that are slowly being lost over time.
We took a look behind the scenes recently, to uncover 10 more things you never knew about Jollibean and what makes Jollibean a preferred Top Brand by consumers in a recent Influential Brands study by Brand Alliance.”
1. How Jollibean Got Its Start
Having established themselves way back in 1995, Jollibean started off as a promising small stall in Centrepoint (“The shopping mall in Orchard Road then”) selling simple kueh and soymilk. Now with over 30 outlets island-wide, they sell an extensive range of local snacks, keeping the traditional classics whilst at the same time innovating by offering some brand new recipes.
They pride themselves in providing healthy yet delicious snacks, as well as remaining affordable and available for their on-the-go customers.
2. They Love Convenience
Jollibean only locates themselves conveniently in malls, hospitals, train stations and business districts to ensure that customers don’t have to go out of their way.
They have also been improving on their products, giving consumers a wider variety of options to choose from. Those who are looking for a hearty breakfast can opt for the Mee Jiang Kueh, filled with its specially-whipped signature peanut paste and red bean paste to satisfy your morning stomach. Those searching for a smaller snack can choose the mini rolls, which are simply bite-sized versions of the Mee Jiang Kueh.
They have adapted to suit the needs and demands of their consumers, as well as changes within society itself to fit the hustle and bustle of the modern Singaporean lifestyle.
3. All Food Is Freshly Made In-Store
Jollibean maintains the standards of its products with the continuous production of food throughout the day. From the ever crispy pancakes to mouth-watering mee jiang kueh and even their silky tau huey, all their food are freshly made in store.
Staff are advised not to make too much at a time, to ensure that the pancakes are nice and warm whenever a customer buys them. I feel that Jollibean’s success pays testament to their conscientious efforts in ensuring that their products remain of the highest quality.
4. The Reason Why Cold Soy Milk Is Not Available Before 9am
As mentioned previously, Jollibean makes all of its products fresh every morning. Many customers have complained and questioned why cold soy milk was unavailable at 9am. The reason is simply because the soy milk is made fresh every morning!
It takes about a few hours for soy milk to be fully chilled in the dispenser, and Jollibean does not believe in chilling quickly by adding ice to its soy milk as it dilutes the soy milk and hence quality will be compromised.
5. The Calcium Levels Are Upped In Jollibean’s Soy Milk
In terms of calcium and protein intake, many people get the common misconception that soy milk is a close enough replacement for normal fresh milk. However, that is not entirely true. Calcium level in soy bean is so low that it is almost negligible compared to the amount of calcium a person is supposed to consume a day, and only a fifth of what normal milk provides.
However, 2 servings of Jollibean’s Classic Soymilk will fulfil the daily requirement of calcium for an adult.
Screenshot from Google.
6. Only Loose Soy Milk (Excluding RTD, Pre-packed Soy Milk) With ‘The Healthier Choice’ Logo* Endorsed by HPB
With added calcium, Jollibean’s Classic Soy Milk meets the criteria set by Health Promotion Board as a Healthier Choice beverage. This healthier choice symbol on food products indicate that they are healthier food options, and help the general public make more informed food choices during their purchase.
Furthermore, Jollibean is the ONLY chain in Singapore to sell Loose Soy Milk (not including those ready to drink, pre-packed soy milk) with the healthier choice endorsement by HPB.
7. The Secret Behind The Stay-Crisp Pancakes
If you fancy a light snack, the pancakes at Jollibean are one of their top-sellers, and for good reason. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a thick layer of either red bean or their signature peanut paste filling, this delicious yet healthier snack is perfect on the go without making you feel any form of guilt.
Jollibean takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes to prepare this crispy delight that maintain its crispiness for more than 6 hours while left out in the open!
While most other crispy pancakes would soften if not consume immediately, the Jollibean pancakes maintain their texture and remain crispy for you throughout the day.
8. The Healthy Tau Huey
This healthier method also gives a more defining taste that keeps you coming back for more.
9. Environmentally Friendly Packaging
Believe or not, the plastic bags or wrappers that contain your pancakes and other Jollibean products are actually biodegradable! I was really impressed by this fact and couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but it proved to me that Jollibean are actually doing their best in protecting the environment.
With an “expiry date” of around 6 months, these biodegradable plastic bags are really environmentally friendly!
10. What Happens To The Food At The End Of The Day
Come closing time, there is bound to be a whole bunch of leftover pancakes and Soy Milk. Jollibean does not keep any of its food overnight and makes them fresh in the morning. So what happens to all these leftover food?
Instead of tossing them straight into the bin, Jollibean has made the extra effort in giving all their unsold pancakes to Food from the Heart, a non-profit charitable organization which aims to deliver unsold perishables to the underprivileged in Singapore.
Faith in humanity, restored.
The Difference Jollibean Makes
Despite the fact that most of our favourite little snacks from the past are fast disappearing, it brings me joy that there are still chain outlets like Jollibean that aim to continue bringing the traditions of Singapore into our modern society, albeit with some revolutionary changes.
About Influential Brands
Influential Brands is a consumer insight driven awards programme which provides a platform for brands to celebrate their achievement; for consumers, businesses and stakeholders to recognise the brands’ efforts in arriving where they are today. The study conducted by Influential Brands is purely consumer driven and the Top Brands are selected by consumers through their perception and preference, demonstrating the level of impact and influence of the brands in each consumer’s life.
Influential Brands seeks to identify consumer preferences, their behaviours, values and to understand how the ever-changing environment affects consumer experience in the purchase journey. The programme is tailored to enrich the brands’ relationship with their consumers through ongoing meaningful conversations and engagement.
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Read More Influential Brand Stories by TSL
This post is part of Influential Brands 2014, where we highlight the most influential brands in Singapore.