Dispatches: ISM/ProSweets 2015

Menken Orlando to drive Asian rice snack brand Mitsuba into UK

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Menken Orlando sales head on Mitsuba UK expansion: 'If we can move this to a £5 million business, I’d be pretty happy'
Menken Orlando sales head on Mitsuba UK expansion: 'If we can move this to a £5 million business, I’d be pretty happy'

Related tags Marketing Consumer Snack food

The UK is the prime focus for Menken Orlando’s expansion of its Asian rice snack brand Mitsuba as consumers increasingly look for unusual snacking flavors, says its sales director.

The Dutch-headquartered snack firm will push forward its year-old brand in the UK over the coming months, targeting premium retailers like Selfridges and Waitrose.

“If we can move this to a £5 million business, I’d be pretty happy. I do honestly believe that consumers will embrace the product,”​ said Robin Wall, sales director at Menken Orlando.

“If you look at it from the point of view of snack consumption per capita in the UK, compared to everywhere else in Europe they consume a lot more snacks than anywhere else. We have a good opportunity to build our brand up and with the changing tastes of consumers and the fact that people are looking for spicier, different flavor combinations is a strong point,”​ he told BakeryandSnacks.com at last month’s ProSweets in Cologne.

He said the firm was working with local UK flavor houses to help translate certain profiles into tastes that would appeal in the country.

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“To be honest, we’re still learning. We’ve just done some consumer panel work to understand whether what we’ve currently got is exactly what the consumer wants. The wasabi, for example, is a love it or hate it flavor.”

Gluten-free, low-fat

The rice snacks are manufactured in Holland and Thailand using a baking technique close to that of a tortilla chip. This production method ensures a low-fat product that is also naturally gluten-free, although Menken Orlando has not listed either on pack.

Asked why, Wall said that many of the Menken Orlando snacks were indulgent and therefore not suited to claims but added this could be altered for the UK market.

“I think the UK consumer is more switched on by those types of claims, so as part of our marketing strategy we’ll certainly be pushing that forward,” ​he said.

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