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In case your social media timeline hasn’t already been flooded by what your friends have been listening to all year, Spotify Wrapped is an annual campaign by the music streaming platform whereby each individual gets a personalised report on what music they liked the most. 

This report also includes stats like what artists they frequently listen to, what genres they gravitate towards, and how many minutes they’ve spent streaming music. 

We decided to give our own Vulcan Post twist to it by presenting to you Vulcan Post Wrapped—a report that will give you some insights into what articles readers like yourself enjoyed the most this year. 

To start with some statistics from our end, we’ve written and published over 600 editorial articles thus far, covering topics that range from gaming and tech gadget reviews to funding news and agritech startups. 

We wrote about both big companies and small ones, about new global companies entering Malaysia or Malaysian companies growing beyond. 

But enough on what we were writing, what were you reading? What were some of the reading trends we observed this year? 

In 2023’s Vulcan Post Wrapped, we present to you the following stats. 

The articles you enjoyed reading the most were… 

10. In the spirit of muhibbah, she started a halal roast duck restaurant to cater to all M’sians

Image Credit: Itek Itik

Clocking in at number 10 is our feature article on Itek Itik, a certified halal roast duck restaurant in Damansara Jaya. 

More than the food, Itek Itik tells a story of resilience from its founder, who is a single mum with bold ambitions to benefit more single mothers in Malaysia. 

9. Meet the M’sian baker who is introducing Russian desserts to locals at her cafe in Puchong

Image Credit: Torte by Linda

Next on the list is the story of Torte by Linda. It’s also founded by a mum, Linda Rozlee, who wanted to highlight Russian cuisine through her cakes. 

Torte by Linda’s best-selling and “must try” item, Tort Classic Medovik (Russian honey cake), also happens to be Linda’s preferred treat. Traditionally, the medovik is made by stacking layers of sponge cake and cream filling.

8. Chicken rice and more: The story behind Malaysia’s halal Hainanese chicken rice giant

Image Credit: Penang Women Entrepreneurs / The Chicken Rice Shop

We bet you read that first part of the headline in the jingle it’s associated with, didn’t you? 

Even if you didn’t, chances are you’ve heard of The Chicken Rice Shop. It’s probably the most well-known chicken rice chain in Malaysia, which might explain why many readers wanted to know the story behind this familiar name. 

To give a bit of a teaser on the history behind this iconic brand, the founder Gaik Wong was actually once the COO-cum-director of KFC Holdings (M) Bhd, proving her expertise in the industry. 

7. 45 yrs ago, Kawan Food was a home-based pastry biz. Now it’s a global frozen food empire.

Image Credit: Kawan Foods

Kawan Foods is yet another iconic Malaysian food brand and household name. However, its history and growth journey is one that not many may know, which is why we decided to explore it in an article. 

Our article on the brand got not only the attention of Malaysians living here but also Malaysians abroad who shared tales of how they purchase the brand’s frozen foods as a way to stay connected to our local cuisine. 

6. ZUS Coffee’s COO spills the beans on how the local chain expanded to 225 outlets in 4 yrs

Image Credit: ZUS Coffee

ZUS Coffee has grown to a whopping 320 outlets since we wrote this piece in June, which goes to show just how rapidly this business is booming across the country. 

In this article, Venon Tian, the COO, talks to Vulcan Post about what it means to be a “tech-driven” coffee business, and how that has set the brand apart from long-standing competitors in the scene such as Starbucks. 

5. This M’sian cinnamon roll brand began as a home-based bakery, grew to 17 outlets in 3 yrs

Image Credit: Homebaker at Clover

If you love cinnamon rolls, you would have heard of Cinnabon, but there’s also a homegrown alternative selling by the name of Homebaker at Clover. 

This proudly Malaysian brand actually began as a home-based business kickstarted by pregnancy cravings, and in our article we explored how it has grown over the years and where it’s going next. 

4. Meet the serial entrepreneur behind Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock that dishes out the muhibbah spirit

Image Credit: Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock

In recent years, Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock has grown to be a reliable food establishment in Malaysia that offers local delights at relatively affordable prices. 

We explored more about its genesis and growth in our article, touching not just on the brand itself but the founder’s previous experience as the serial entrepreneur who founded brands such as Tom, Dick and Harry’s, as well as Durian King. 

3. With family roots in Klang, this Brit started a Muslim-friendly fish & chips chain in M’sia

Image Credit: Cor Blimey

Blimey! Who knew Malaysians liked fish and chips this much? 

Cor Blimey is a fish and chips restaurant with three locations in the Klang Valley. The business is founded by Adam, who was born to a Malaysian-Chinese mother from Klang and a British father. 

Given his background, he definitely seems to be the appropriate person to be bringing “authentic” fish and chips to the country. 

2. After converting to Islam, Mohd Chan started a halal Chinese F&B chain that now has 4 brands

Image Credit: Mohd Chan

Serving halal Chinese cuisine, Mohd Chan is a Malaysian business with an interesting founder’s story, which may be why many were intrigued to learn more about it. 

As the title explains, the F&B company was founded by Mohd Chan who had converted to Islam and subsequently started a business that spoke to that experience. 

1. No longer Pappa, just Rich: PappaRich founder on selling his stakes & opening a new kopitiam

Image Credit: Rich Kopitiam

Our top performing article of the year was one on Rich Tan’s new venture, Rich Kopitiam. 

Known as the founder of PappaRich, Rich’s story hasn’t often been covered in the media. The man is interview-shy, it seems, but we managed to lock him down eventually!

Presented with such an opportunity, we asked away, and so this piece not only explores his new venture, but also his roots and why he left the company he founded and once headed. 

With so many readers intrigued by this story and our interview with Rich, we did a follow-up and visited the kopitiam to meet the legend in person, which you can read about here

The news that you cared for the most included…

10. 3 months after leaving Fave, founder Joel Neoh joins CircleDNA as managing director

Image Credit: CircleDNA

The hustle truly never stops for this entrepreneur. Joel is a well-known name in the startup ecosystem, having founded companies such SAYS.com, and GroupOn, which transformed into Fave. 

2023 has been a massive year for Joel, who announced in February he would be departing from Fave as its CEO. 

A few months after taking his leave, Joel then joined Hong Kong-based health sciences company Prenetics as the chief consumer officer while heading its CircleDNA brand as the managing director. Just shy of a month later, he announced that he had co-founded an early-stage pre-seed venture capital called First Move.

9. BIG Pharmacy to acquire competitor Caring Pharmacy for RM900mil with plans to IPO

Image Credit: BIG Pharmacy / KK Ang

Next in the list of news that Malaysians cared about in 2023 was when BIG Pharmacy acquired Caring Pharmacy. 

Both are pretty big local names, and have numerous locations in high visibility areas, so perhaps that’s why many Malaysians cared to know more about the acquisition and how each brand would be impacted.

8. Michelin has added 14 new KL & Penang spots to its Bib Gourmand list, here’s who they are

Image Credit: Michelin Guide / Sharon Cher / Roger “RABBIT” Oh / Larry Louie

Once again proving the point that Malaysians are foodies, one of our highly viewed news articles was about the Michelin Guide adding 14 new eateries to its Bib Gourmand list.

Specifically, this list seeks to highlight affordable and delicious establishments in Malaysia, so perhaps this, in a way, signals Malaysians’ love for not just good food, but good food that’s more accessible. 

7. SKS Airways clears the air of financial struggle claims, CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar resigns

Image Credit: Dzuleira Abu Bakar

A Malaysian airline, SKS Airways recently found itself in the headlines for supposedly having financial struggles. However, the team refuted, clearing the air of such allegations. 

At the same time, the airline company also confirmed reports that its CEO, Dzuleira Abu Bakar, had resigned and left the company two months after joining.

6. Loob Holding’s RM10mil plant will export M’sian pearls to the world… boba pearls, that is

Image Credit: Loob Holding

Loob Holding, also known as the company behind Tealive, has invested RM10 million into a plant that will be creating its own tapioca pearls. Not only that, the company will be exporting those pearls to the world. 

The company’s move upstream attracted a lot of interest and attention, with many readers clicking in to gain a pearl of information or two about this topic. 

5. GSC launches retro-themed boutique cinema in Mont Kiara, tickets start at RM100 per pax

Back in early November, GSC had launched a swanky new experience in Mont Kiara called Velvet. 

At the time, it hadn’t opened for the public yet, but on December 6, the outlet announced that it was officially open. Given all the attention our news piece had garnered, it seems that quite a number of people may be interested in patronising the space.

We were able to visit the retro-themed cinema too, so if you’re thinking about visiting the spot, you can read our review here

4. We asked ZUS Coffee to clarify its name & logo’s meaning so M’sians can stop being confused

Image Credit: ZUS Coffee

Perhaps you won’t consider this as your typical news but it definitely was something time-sensitive. 

If you haven’t heard, ZUS Coffee suddenly found itself the topic of discussions and debates online as netizens speculated the origins of its name and branding. 

Many believed that it was inspired by the Greek god Zeus, but the ZUS Coffee team stands by their statement that it comes from an individual named Kaldi who discovered coffee. 

To settle the disputes, we reached out to the ZUS team to get some clarity, and well, you can read for yourself what they had to say about everything. 

3. MR.DIY’s social experiment shows the kindness of Malaysians, in time for Merdeka

Image Credit: MR.DIY

An arguably much-needed feel-good story clocks in at the third most-read news of the year. Around the time of Hari Kebangsaan, homegrown home improvement giant MR.DIY released a video depicting a social experiment. 

The video showcased the kindness and camaraderie between Malaysians, making it a perfect way to celebrate Merdeka. 

2. Khairul Aming is banking on automation to keep Sambal Nyet prices steady amidst inflation

Image Credit: Khairul Aming

With Khairul Aming being a huge name in content creation, especially in the food realm, it’s no surprise that many tuned into our news coverage of his announcement that he sold 2.4 million bottles of his popular Sambal Nyet. That’s equivalent to RM33.5 million in sales.

In a video, Khairul Aming talked about how he aims to use automation to increase the production of Sambal Nyet to 7,000 bottles a day. The entrepreneur also reassured customers of his commitment to keep prices steady even amidst inflation. 

1. This new 45,000 sq ft kindergarten in Cyberjaya is bringing Finnish education to Malaysia

Image Credit: HEI Schools Cyberjaya

On the top of the list is our article on HEI Schools Cyberjaya, an upcoming early childhood education establishment that will be teaching Finnish curriculum. 

Interestingly, it riled quite a number of people up, and lots of debates around it have been happening on our Facebook. People are definitely passionate about education in Malaysia, and that’s great to see.

Perhaps education, especially new takes on it, will be an area of interest in 2024. 

The short-form videos you enjoyed the most were… 

Reading aside, you’ve also been watching content from us this year. We published lots of short-form content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, which were also posted to YouTube Shorts and Facebook. 

Tallying the stats from Instagram and TikTok, top performing short-form content we produced this year were: 

10. The Laundry Pods review

You may have heard of Tide pods, but there’s also a Malaysian brand creating its own sustainable version of the laundry capsule. 

Called The Laundry Pods, we featured this brand in an article and later decided to try the product ourselves. Many seem to be interested in how it works and performs, enough that our review video was one of the top viewed videos on our platform.

We also wrote an article version of this review, which you can read here.

9. Sunway’s origins

Most Malaysians would know about Sunway. More than just an area or a shopping mall or a school, Sunway’s reach is far and wide, but not everyone knows about its history. 

In our video, as well as our article, we explored the history of the group and its founder, Jeffrey Cheah. 

8. How to get a halal licence in Malaysia

Halal licences are very important in Malaysia, considering that a majority of the population are Muslim, and the popularity of this video goes to show that. 

We also wrote a more detailed article that looks into how a halal licence can be acquired in Malaysia.  

7. Manjapot

Have you ever heard of a theme park for cats? We haven’t, until we came across Manjapot and subsequently wrote an article about it.

Complete with visuals of adorable felines, this video definitely called out to all the cat lovers (us included). 

6. #KopiKupi 

This tells the tale of #KopiKupi and its founder Fauzi, who is also known as Pakcik #KopiKupi. 

Known for selling coffee out of his car boot, Fauzi actually left his job as a general manager of a plantation in Indonesia, giving up a stable five-figure salary in order to launch his mobile cafe. 

Read how the brand got started here, and how it expanded here.

5. Bomb Battle review

Turns out that people enjoy watching us get blasted in our faces by paint bombs—the “largest paint bomb in the world”, to be specific. 

Bomb Battle is a fairly new immersive experience in Malaysia, located in Berjaya Times Square. It involves an escape room-esque portion, in addition to the opportunity to get blasted with paint at the end.  

You can read more about our experience here, and get to know the team and story behind this brand. 

4.  How to display Jalur Gemilang correctly

We’re glad to see another informative video make the list. Here, we explored exactly what the rules are when it comes to displaying our national flag, and you might be surprised to learn what is considered “incorrect” when flying the Malaysian flag. This likely garnered interest because many Malaysians were surprised by the facts!

You can get a more in-depth look at the rules of the Malaysian flag in our article

3. Serai Group 

Another win for the foodies, our video on homegrown restaurant empire Serai made it to the top of our best performing videos. 

Serai Group boasts over three decades of operations, run by a mother and her son-in-law. Its portfolio includes brands such as Serai, Jibby & Co, Blonde, Chum Chum Pizzeria, and much more. 

Here’s our corresponding article of the Malaysian F&B group. 

2. Sabasco 

Even if you don’t typically eat spicy food, we bet you’ve heard of the brand Tabasco. 

Well, Sabasco is a Malaysian version of that. More specifically, it’s a Sabahan version of it. 

Sabasco is a brand under the East Malaysian fast food chain, SugarBun, which is under the parent company, Borneo Oil. Read the story of this homegrown company here.

1. 3 Celsius Creations

Undisputedly on the top of the list was our video review of 3 Celsius Creations’ cakes. 

Not just offering your typical cakes, 3 Celsius Creations, which we’ve featured in an article, is a Malaysian brand selling cakes packaged in cans—like the ones you typically see tuna packed in. 

This unique way of presenting cakes is likely there were so many views on this video. People wanted to see how the cakes looked, and we satiated that curiosity. Our more in-depth article reviewing these cakes can be found here

The industry with the top articles was… 

F&B, through and through! 

If you didn’t notice, all top 10 articles readers enjoyed this year were about the F&B industry. Many of the best-performing reels were related to F&B too.

Everybody eats, but Malaysia in specific is truly a nation of foodies. If you hunger for more content about F&B businesses, you can do so here

Here’s to another year of championing homegrown stories 

At Vulcan Post, we aim to put the spotlight on local businesses, and it’s gratifying to know that Malaysians care to read about them too. 

As we enter 2024, we will continue to bring relevant and interesting pieces to all of you. 

Until then, Merry Christmas, and a happy new year in advance!

  • Read articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)