Although popcorn flavours have traditionally laid within the boundaries of sweet or savoury, earlier this year, a not-so-new contender has decided to reintroduce themselves to the popcorn market with new snazzy packaging to match their wacky flavour offerings.
In late August, we said hi to The Kettle Gourmet with their infusion of local flavours into their popcorn range. Imagine opening a bag of popcorn with a kick of sambal chilli and Nasi Lemak flavouring, or even tasting our local favourite Chilli Crab dish in every bite! While they also offer basic flavours such as Chocolate or Salted Caramel, we especially loved the Nasi Lemak flavoured popcorn above all else for its sambal kick at the start, and the faint lingering coconut milk aftertaste. That said, we’re looking forward to munching on the Chicken Floss flavoured popcorn when we can get our hands on it!
For interested gourmet popcorn hunters, The Kettle Gourmet offers family packs for SGD15 per pack, 6-pack sets of any single flavour at SGD30, as well as bundle deals with a variety of flavours for SGD30 on their website.
The Kettle Gourmet is a B2B popcorn manufacturer and distributor that’s known for their wacky flavours. Having rebranded themselves recently, the Singapore based startup presents the company’s commitment to go beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in its new packaging, setting a fresh tone to welcome the new normal, and has resulted in a 247% growth in terms of revenue during this period.
Launched in July of 2017 by Zac Chua, The Kettle Gourmet was an accidental start-up that began as a solo operation in SMU, which hit its first milestone within a year by reaching a daily sales volume of 300 bags of popcorn. As of 2020, they have been moving more than 600 bags a day, and have since expanded their manufacturing and operations team to Kuala Lumpur to cater to the surge in demand from their B2B clients around the region, including countries such as Brunei, China, and Indonesia, even amidst the Covid pandemic.
“I felt that this was a good opportunity to work on our business foundation. Since most companies are on defense mode and the entire economy is stagnating during the pandemic, why not take the time to work on how to stand out in the industry?” No stranger to getting results through unconventional means, Zac started the entire company with less than SGD100 while pursuing his degree. Since their rebranding, The Kettle Gourmet has managed to beat the odds, helping his growing team find renewed focus and a clear direction.
Referring to the new packaging, Chan Zi Wei, CFO of The Kettle Gourmet points out that the rebranding is simple, fun and expressive. “The snack monster now gives character to each bag of popcorn. When you read the copy on the packaging you can feel the attitude from the monsters and you will be excited to open the bag. Popcorn is and has always been a fun product, so it’s always a good feeling to go back to what we loved as children.”
The rebranding has also opened greater collaborative possibilities with partners. Being a digital-first company has been instrumental during this period, Zac says, “Since more and more companies are switching to work-from-home (WFH), we needed a different take from convention – we needed to innovate outside of business norms. So by pivoting fast through adding more digital channels, our drop-in pantry sales were quickly compensated by our online sales.” These digital channels have also been responsible for offering customisation options to match the unique messaging for their clients, enabling The Kettle Gourmet to be an active player in the gifting market.
Re-invention remains a cornerstone of the business; with 22 being the average age of employees in The Kettle Gourmet, the formation of new flavours and product offerings has been a collective effort that Zac oversees. The rebranding is a crucial step for the company in time to come, “I look at branding as an investment where the ROI is unknown – but if done right, can take your business to a whole new level.” Zac continues, “So with limited downside and unlimited upside, why not?”