Sebastiani is also the creator of Krave Jerky which was purchased by Hershey in 2015.
He told BakeryandSnacks at the Sweets & Snacks Expo being held in Chicago, that he has high respect for the confectionery company.
“It’s forward thinking, responsible and a risk taker. I like a company that recognizes a trend and is willing to jump on the bandwagon rather than be a follower,” Sebastiani said.
However, it is still too early to discuss any merger deals, despite the fact the snackable marshmallow brand has been experiencing “explosive” growth, he said.
He did intimate, though, that chocolate and marshmallows do share an obvious s’mores commonality.
"Hershey is a chocolate company and SmashMallow is a marshmallow company. Is there a marriage there? Maybe,” he said.
New product developments
SmashMallow is showcasing a line called SmashCrispy at the Expo.
Sebastiani said he wanted the company to leverage its growth into other categories, “so Smash Crispy is a natural extension.”
The new crisp rice range is organic and contains no artificial ingredients. It's debuting in three flavors, including strawberry & cream, cinnamon churro, and mint chocolate chip, and retails for $4.99 per six-pack in different parts of US grocery stores, such as Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars, to help grow its footprint.
The brand will be launching SmashFluff in 2018, according to Sebastiani.
Moving fast: pros and cons
“We’re aware of the risks associated with growing too fast,” said Sebastiani. But, "when you introduce a category, not just a brand, you’re educating the market and need to move fast," he explained.
"Our biggest opportunity is also our biggest challenge: protecting the brand.”
Sebastiani said that, by the end of the first fiscal year of SmashMallow (October 2017), the brand will have exceeded what it took Krave four years to achieve.
“We have set our sights on becoming a $20m company in near term,” he said.