Company history

Bidor Kwong Heng’s history goes back to more than 70 years.

At the young age of 18, Lee Chong-Ho joined the wave of migration from China to what was then known as Malaya and landed in Kampar, Perak. He got a job in a soy sauce factory and this was the beginning that would eventually lead him to founding his own soy sauce business and the iconic Angel brand.

At the soy sauce factory, the young Lee quickly learned the ropes and his talent saw him rise to the position of chief blender fairly rapidly. When World War II came, the factory he worked in was badly affected and so right after the war, he moved further down south to Bidor and started his own soy sauce factory. But as a small cottage industry with very limited capacity, Bidor Kwong Heng had to struggle because the process of making soy sauce and fermented black bean paste took months of brewing. So, the innovative Lee Chong-Ho created a product known as yellow bean paste which required a much shorter brewing period and this yellow bean paste boosted his sales and helped his business to become viable. Today, yellow bean paste has become a common and essential condiment for many types of food dishes.

In the 1950s, during the Emergency period, the British colonial rulers of Malaya relocated the Chinese rural population into special enclaves called “New Villages” and thus, Bidor Kwong Heng was moved to a new site. In this new factory, Bidor Kwong Heng started to expand its business and its market grew to other nearby towns in the state of Perak and part of Selangor state.

Having established itself well in Perak and Selangor, Bidor Kwong Heng embarked on a growth program in the 1980s with investments in manufacturing and sales. The company acquired high tech processing equipment and automated packaging machinery and also further expanded its markets domestically to cover neighboring states and the Klang Valley.

By this time, Lee Chong-Ho’s sons had taken the helm at the business, with elder son Lee Kok Fatt assuming the position of Executive Chairman and Lee Kok Tan taking on the role of Executive Director.

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Having covered the domestic market, Bidor Kwong Heng subsequently looked beyond the country’s shores and in 1991, Singapore was the first market where Angel products were exported to. However, the company was not able to expand very much further subsequently as the growing demand for its products saw its plant running at full capacity to cope with sales orders and it was only after the new plant was built that the international expansion began in earnest. This second wave saw expansion into the U.K. market in 1999 and this was progressively followed by other markets which eventually gave Bidor Kwong Heng an international footprint covering virtually every major country around the globe.

1997 was a major milestone for the company as Bidor Kwong Heng once again made significant investments in expanding and upgrading its manufacturing facility. A state-of-the-art, highly automated manufacturing plant was built, with numerous improvements and advancements including a closed and automated soy sauce production system with rotary bean cooking equipment, humidity and temperature-controlled bean culturing room, temperature-controlled brewing tanks and higher speed packers.

Following on the major manufacturing upgrade, operational systems and processes were also enhanced and in 2002, the factory received certification for quality manufacturing, having achieved full compliance with HACCP and AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000 standards for all its products.

Bidor Kwong Heng went further and subsequently achieved full BRC certification and FSSC22000 certification as well in 2011 and thus cemented its status as an international class manufacturer.

Today, Bidor Kwong Heng is a leading manufacturer in Malaysia renowned for its quality sauces and its products can be found not only throughout Malaysia but also across Asia, Europe, Scandinavia, the U.S., Canada and also Australia.

Bidor Kwong Heng is also a major contract manufacturer for various brands around the world.