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Fonterra's Asia Pacific market is living proof of the adage "necessity is the mother of invention" Judith Swales says.

Fonterra's CEO for Asia Pacific told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum that Covid-19 restrictions had forced the co-op to rethink its approach to customers.

"Our teams have adapted really quickly and they've done a lot of great work. It's about how we adapt to customers and consumers" Swales said.


One example was a trend that had popped up in Korea - creating new recipes for the garlic cream cheese bun.

The key ingredients were Anchor cream cheese, Anchor whipping cream and Anchor butter. The buns were now being sold in bakeries across Vietnam.

Listen below:

"For the last two months, even though everybody's been locked down, the team has managed to launch it in the Vietnamese market" Swales said.

"The team has been using food trends to help mitigate the impact of Covid-19 - always looking for new opportunities, jumping on them quickly and [finding] a way to use our products".

The recipes were then promoted through videos on the Anchor Food Professionals Facebook page, which encouraged people to try and make them at home, Swales said.

"It's great to see that even though people haven't been able to get out and meet face-to-face, we've been passing on those trends that are emerging in South East Asia and very quickly coming up with new ideas across our food service business and now rolling it out to Vietnam and into other markets".

Also in today's interview: Swales talked about the overall impact Covid-19 was having on Fonterra's business in the APAC regions.