The first time my mother brought Nutchies home, I regarded them with skepticism.
The cashew nut flavours were labelled Golden Corn, Wild Garlic and Spaghetti Bolognese.
While I love spaghetti as much as the next person, the idea of having it on a nut sounded well, nutty.
Strangely, it worked.
Packed in handy sized packets, these nuts are perfect anytime, from movie nights to post-dinner snacks.
Also, here’s an interesting fact about this brand – it began as a business for cosmetics.
From Cosmetics To Nuts
“Nutchies actually began as a side business opportunity to a cosmetic business,” co-founder Kenneth Ho reveals.
“But my wife Sylvie Tanuwidjaya and I quickly realised its business potential when they were very well received. So, we decided to focus our efforts and resources there instead.”
With a focus on cashews, their products are coated in a variety of flavours such as Spaghetti Bolognese, Wasabi and Caramel etc.
“We do not have the intention to promote Nutchies as the healthiest snack in the market,” Ho shares, although the nuts do come with health benefits.
Rather, it’s more about expanding flavours beyond “non-flavoured, salted and baked”.
We want to bring something fun and interesting to traditional cashew nuts – a fun party snack for all occasions.
Launching Their Nutty Endeavour
Their product line only consists of cashews because it is the easiest to coat with seasoning, Ho reveals.
“It is also neither too cheap nor too expensive.”
When coming up with flavours, the team would study potato chips and try to “migrate” their flavours.
Family and friends became taste testers for invaluable feedback as well as helping to bootstrap start up capital.
During their market testing, they began as a pushcart around high-traffic areas such as Raffles Exchange and Bugis Junction.
These 9 months allowed them to gather information about “consumer behaviour and preferences”, helping them to adjust and improve themselves.
“As with any young business, we try to find the most efficient, cost-effective and practical solution – such as the ideal booth location.”
Ideal location aside, the team also has to address the growing cost of a retail space.
“We address this by focusing on online sales instead of relying too much on a physical store.”
Sale numbers aside, the Nutchies team has found support amongst the office crowd and families.
As returning customers increase, it also brought larger crowds at booths, although different locations do “spell lower sales than others”.
Meanwhile, the team also begun receiving requests from distributors both local and overseas.
This gave us the confidence to continue growing the business.
By carting a pushcart around Singapore, monthly sales would soar up to 7,000 – 10,000 packets.
Limiting themselves to online sales and roadshows would decrease that to 3,000 to 6,000. In contrast, the lower overheads allowed them to “realise higher profits”.
You could say that they’ve successfully ‘cashed in’ on cashews.
Nuts About Nuts
“As more people become aware of Nutchies, we are looking at the arrival of more interesting and unique flavours,” gushes Kenneth.
And so long as the brand grows “in the right direction”, export opportunities and the introductions of other nut snacks are all on their plate.
Featured Image Credit: Kenneth Ho