Eighteen months since setting foot into the US, Confetti has experienced significant growth, from sealing deals with major retailers to prospective collaborations with mega brands.
At its manufacturing plant in Johor, Malaysia, “ugly veggies” and surplus crops from local farms are upcycled into vegetable and mushroom chips.
According to Jiyin Low, business development executive at Confetti, the firm has secured a factory in Texas to use the local “imperfect produce” to make their snacks.
“It makes more sense to procure locally sourced ingredients for upcycling, although the seasonings will still be sent from our flavour house in Malaysia for now,” Low told FoodNavigator-Asia.
In the US, the brand is currently available in chain stores such as Super 1 Foods and Rosauers Supermarkets, and specialty shops like HomeGoods.
“Other than working with distributors including United Natural Foods, Inc and US Foods, we are also talking to Walmart and Target to retail our snacks across the country. It usually takes a long time for a company starting out in such a big market to achieve these, so we consider our progress to be very good,” she added.
At the same time, the firm is doubling down on expansion in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
It recently participated in FHA-Food & Beverage 2023 to seek out distributors for markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, and Australia.
“Hopefully something fruitful will come out of the discussions that we are having. As a start-up, we certainly want to grow further. If we are able to bring our brand to overseas markets, especially the big ones, then it’d be a great opportunity,” said Low.
In addition, Confetti is looking to work with Ireland-based farm produce giant Dole to formulate a range of vegan dips using the latter’s surplus fruit and nutritive by-products.
“We are in talks with Dole to do this collaboration. Our aim is to create dips that would pair well with our chips,” Low revealed.
The firm is also preparing to roll out a special line-up that features Mickey and Friends characters on the packaging, following a partnership with Disney.
“The Disney characters will be printed on our product packaging, but with a localised twist — such as Peranakan houses in the background. This themed series is expected to be launched in Q4 this year.”
Confetti has sold 181,541 units of its chips to date, and reached a year-on-year growth rate of 50% since its inauguration.
“We’ve done a lot of trade shows to raise brand awareness. From these events, we observed that the upcycling and healthy snacking mindset is more common among consumers in Western countries, such as the US, than Asian markets like Singapore.
“The idea of being kind to the environment and staying healthy, particularly during and after COVID-19, is very important to a big portion of the Western populations, so the growth potential there is huge,” said Low.
At the moment, Confetti’s product portfolio comprises three veggie chip flavours, two mushroom chip flavours, and two mandarin orange chip flavours.
“Interestingly, we noted a significant difference between the top-performing flavours in Singapore and the US. Products with a truffle element tend to do well in Singapore — our Summer Truffle veggie chips and Black Truffle mushroom chips are the best-sellers here.
“For US consumers, they are keener on what they call exotic flavours, or things that are new to them and differ from their daily palate. Our best-selling products there are Tandoori Curry veggie chips and Green Curry mushroom chips,” Low shared.
The firm is now working on new flavours while delving deeper into fruit chips.
“Although the mandarin orange chips were only introduced this year, the response has been quite eye-opening. We thought, ‘why are we solely focusing on vegetables when there are many other things that we can use to reduce food waste?’. We hope to come up with a range of fruit chips very soon,” she explained.