Our Hawker Culture: How You Can Save It, One Beer At A Time

You’ve probably seen it by now, more than once.

Walk to almost any other bus stop and you will come across a poster depicting a typical hawker center uncle holding on to a plate of Hokkien Mee.

All this is part of Tiger Beer‘s latest street food movement, launched at the beginning of April, geared this time towards saving the diminishing heritage that is our local street food and hawker culture.

Hawker Centers were first built in Singapore back in the 1950’s as an alternative to the less hygienic roadside stalls and quickly established itself as the default to-go place for all hungry Singaporeans alike. Today, even as we may not be aware of it, hawker centers are slowly being replaced by more comfortable and perhaps cleaner restaurants or food courts, most of which are also air-conditioned.

Photo credits: Ogilvy Public Relations

Yet it doesn’t have to be this way; we live now still in an age where memories and experiences of hawker fare remain personally relevant to all of us. At the same time, we may also be the last generation to enjoy such a privilege and it is our responsibility to maintain this culture we all take for granted.

“Tiger Beer and street food are synonymous with our hawker heritage in Singapore. As the iconic Singapore beer, Tiger Beer seeks to reclaim the pride and passion for a fellow national icon by putting our local street food back in the spotlight,” according to Venus Teoh, Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore).

“It’s time to preserve what we love,” said Teoh.

Putting words into action, Tiger Beer has released a series of heartwarming and sentimental videos, carrying the underlying message of the potential extinction of our hawker food tradition.


Tiger Beer has stepped their game up a notch by choosing various hawker centers around Singapore to distribute free food coupons to encourage further support.

The venues and dates for these events are not released to the public beforehand, but do visit your own local hawker center – you may just chance upon smiling men and women tiger beer uniforms passing to you a five dollar coupon to spend.

We were at Jurong West’s NTI food court earlier this week and it was a sight to behold as we were greeted with hordes of happy customers tucking into their favourite dishes.

The next time you visit a hawker centre, snap a photo of your favourite hawker fare and hashtag #UNCAGESTREETFOOD on socials to join the movement.

For more information about Tiger Beer’s #uncage campaign and the ways in which they are contributing money to keep hawker centres running with every beer sold, visit their site here.

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