How Tasty Snack created a thriving business in a pandemic
The global pandemic has adversely impacted many small businesses, with some even forced to close their doors for good. But even in this unstable climate, new SMEs have popped up and flourished.
One such example is Tasty Snack Asia, an online retailer of unique snacks sourced from around the world. Its product offerings include everything from chips and crackers to nuts, granola and artisanal chocolate.
Founded in April this year, the business is a full-time endeavour by Elaine Soh − previously a professional banker for 15 years.
Seizing opportunities in a time of crisis
The inspiration for Tasty Snack Asia came about when Elaine noticed how consumers were rapidly using digital platforms to purchase goods once COVID hit.
“Snacks were traditionally purchased at supermarkets, but consumers’ behaviours and preferred interactions have changed significantly post-COVID,” she explains. “This has allowed Tasty Snack to position ourselves as an e-commerce platform that stretches across a portfolio of snack products.”
As snacks are bought in bulk directly from sources, customers can enjoy substantial savings. Keeping products affordable remains a priority for Tasty Snacks, especially in a time with much economic uncertainty.
Of course, launching during a pandemic was still risky, seeing as how many other SMEs were struggling for survival.Thankfully, the risk paid off. When Tasty Snack’s site first went live in July this year, online store sessions increased 35% month on month. The business has managed to sustain growth as well, breaking even just four months after its official launch.
“We are seeing double-digit month-on-month growth in top line as well as customer purchases,” notes Elaine. “Our returning customer rate is also close to 40%, proving that customers love the products and services we provide.”
According to Elaine, crowd-favourite items are the tempe chips from Indonesia, limited edition Japanese snacks as well as unique themed sets like birthday or healthy snack boxes.
To build its brand and attract a loyal stream of customers, Tasty Snack adopted creative solutions featuring digital elements.
It observed how many companies were sending care packs to their employees working from home, as the level of remote working skyrocketed during Singapore’s Circuit Breaker.
As such, the team worked to create thematic care packages that appealed to corporates – for instance, a Halloween-themed care package with snacks. The physical snacks were accompanied by a curated Spotify song list, providing an overall sensory experience.
Titled Tasty Sounds, this curated playlist is an ongoing marketing initiative by the company. Spotify playlists are incorporated into gift boxes via a QR code that recipients scan, with curated music themes changing every month.
Tasty Snack has also launched Tasty Café in December, an ‘online café’ showcasing recipe ideas, snack and beverage pairings and gourmet creations using various snacks.
Come 2021, Tasty Talent will be introduced as well. Positioned as a premier destination for food and culture on the web, the initiative will deliver curated advertising solutions and custom partnerships for like-minded audiences.
The future is digital
As Elaine reflects, digitalisation has turned her team's daydreams into endless possibilities. Through starting an e-commerce platform, they were able to realise their creative ideas and successfully market products they are passionate about.
“Digitalisation also allows us to spotlight local and international snack companies that have excellent products offerings, but are perhaps lesser known by consumers,” she says.
Given how digitalisation has propelled her company’s success, Elaine observes that SMES who are slow to digitalise will be substantially disadvantaged in the COVID recovery process.
“As the economy recuperates and demand recovery becomes unpredictable, brick-and-mortar businesses will face the challenge of right-sizing their cost base and supply chains.”
Eventually, companies with both an online and offline presence will be in an advantageous position, as they complete the customer’s desire of being able to see, touch and try products.
At present, Tasty Snack hasn’t decided what their offline presence will look like. But the company hopes to grow further, and eventually become a leading consumer-focused food and beverage company.
“We want to capitalise on continued growth in the e-commerce market, with a brand that stretches across a broad portfolio of products via both online and offline channels,” says Elaine.
Naturally, digital solutions will continue to play a huge part in Tasty Snack’s future growth, especially in a post-COVID world.
“We believe that the increasing use of digital services is here to stay,” Elaine says. “This means ensuring that our digital channel is on par or better than the existing competition, in order to succeed in this new environment.”
Link to original article: https://www.singtel.com/business/articles/sme/sme-tasty-snack-asia-story-digitalisation