Hot on the heels of the anticipated, McDonald’s Singapore’s Nasi Lemak Burger, comes a rebuttal of a similar kind — possibly with more oomph — the Nasi Lemak Ayam Rendang Burger by local joint MyBurgerLab.
Launched on August 4, the fusion burger combines familiar flavours from these neck of the woods with condiments used far and wide like good ol’ peanut butter.
In our earlier report, co-founder of MyBurgerLab RenYi said the idea of a Nasi Lemak Burger had been on their back burner for three years. Their decision to finally release it came courtesy of McDonald’s Singapore and…social media.
“After McDonald’s released theirs, a lot of people started tagging us in posts and we thought, ‘OK, let’s listen and give the people what they want’. This really fell in line with what MyBurgerLab is all about — listening to our customers and doing our best to put out products we know they want and will love,” said RenYi.
And boy, does social media have great appreciation for MyBurgerLab’s latest creation.
Twitter responses following the launch are expressing nothing but love for it and vouching for its ‘legitimacy’.
We’ve yet to try it ourselves, but judging from the public’s response, one thing seems evident: Malaysians love themselves a good twist to their childhood favourites.
To get some insight into the world of fusion food and try to understand the motivations behind its demand, MARKETING caught up with FriedChillies.com founder Mohd Adly Rizal.
MARKETING: The fusion food trend is fast whetting the appetites of Malaysians. In your opinion, what are the reasons for this?
Adly: Malaysia has always loved some kind of mix in their food to make their life a bit more interesting. It’s not new. The Nyonya culture was a fusion between Malay and Chinese right? We also have the Mamak’s and Indian Malay mix as well. So in a culture as rich as Malaysia, there will be tremendous richness and fusion in our food and heritage as well.
We also see that the younger generation or millennials enjoy fusion dishes. This is also fuelled by the cool food events we now have in Malaysia where people are experimenting on new things like the Pisang Cheese, Pau Cendawan, Baked Cheese Rice and the like by what we call Hobbyist Chefs who basically have day jobs, but love to experiment with food as well in their free time.
MARKETING: How big a role does social media play in keeping up the [fusion food] trend’s momentum?
Adly: Hahaha…very big. The salted duck egg cronuts went big because someone blogged about it. KawKaw burger became famous because their fans instagrammed and FBed their legendary tower burger. A lot of people get their food news from social media nowadays.
MARKETING: What does this trend of fusion food teach local restaurateurs?
Adly: It shouldn’t teach them anything I believe, and they should not be alarmed. Good food is good food. I still want my nasi lemak in a banana leaf wrap. In between two buns is just….’for fun’. Our local restaurants and street dining folks serve really great food. One of the best in the world. And most of the time…food fads — fusion or not — can be temporary.
MARKETING: From your observation, are big F&B brands responding to this trend? And if they aren’t, what can they do to capture the public’s interest?
Adly: We have over 18 years of data on food trends in Malaysia and can confidently say that Malaysians can be very topical when it comes to food. We have seen some clever campaigns by big F&B brands who were able to get in the heads of Malaysian consumers and correctly guess what they crave for at that [particular point in] time. Of course, they were rewarded with great revenues and customer loyalty. You see.. Malaysians.. suka makan. If you can guess correctly what they want at the [right] time.. and give it to them, you are in the money. The hard part is always getting your guesses right. You need to go down to the field and connect with the food fans on the ground which a lot of people are not willing to do.
From the buzz MyBurgerLab seems to have generated, they’re getting their guesses right then.
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