We would like to thank Empirics Asia for featuring us in an article of theirs.
Feature Fridays: Empirics Asia
Empirics Asia is an open-access knowledge sharing platform that seeks to facilitate the collective exchange of insights, ideas and experience throughout Asia.
Formerly known as ‘The Asian Entrepreneur' on www.asianentrepreneur.org, Empirics Asia now covers a wide variety of topics- from entrepreneurship to business and entertainment, Empirics Asia offers quality content to people with quality ideas in Asia, much like its global counterpart Medium.com
The article that our founder, Zac and the Kettle Gourmet are featured in is an interview by Callum Laing, an investor and entrepreneur based in Singapore.
Read on to find out about the secret to how the Kettle Gourmet grew 247% in sales in the midst of the pandemic, how the Kettle Gourmet started and a book that helped our founder, Zac to be more productive in his professional and personal life.
Looking for Popcorn in Singapore?
Zac Chua's popcorn business validated itself straight away, and fast tracked him to the start-up world. It all started with an experience in the cinema that gave Zac the idea of using flavours in Asia.
What's your story?
As I always wanted to be my own boss, my company started after smelling the overbearing delicious aroma of Nasi Lemak whilst enjoying my popcorn in the cinema. As a foodie, I enjoy the unique local flavours from across all Asia and with The Kettle Gourmet, I aim to combine these delicious flavours with popcorn. Today, we typically move an average of 1,200 bags of popcorn daily.
What excites you most about your industry?
It's food! As the F&B sector is incredibly volatile, it was an exciting space to work in. Not only there are new trends and consumer needs or desires that are constantly changing due to circumstances over the years. As Singapore's food scene continues to rise, Zac looks forward to incorporating more exciting and vibrant flavours into his popcorn.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
While growing up, Zac has always aimed to achieve the best possible results. Being an avid foodie and a proud Singaporean, he always makes sure that The Kettle Gourmet offers the best, unique flavours to consumers.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Other than running the business, Zac also shared that influence and negotiation have been the most useful throughout his entrepreneurship journey. Another aspect of The Kettle Gourmet is liaising and working with existing or potential partners, suppliers, and clients to build and maintain relationships.
Who inspires you?
My father, who was a VC, taught me the importance of being humble.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
$0.01 doubled every day for 31 days equals $10 million.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would concentrate my time and effort on building the business's foundation properly. Sourcing suitable suppliers, hiring like-minded and driven employees, investing more in branding and PR for The Kettle Gourmet and lastly, guidance from mentors who have the experience to start my own business.
How do you unwind?
As a people person, I love to unwind at the end of a long week with my colleague's friends and family. At The Kettle Gourmet, we have renamed our Friday 'People Day'. My favourite thing to do is to play a game of Mahjong or Dota 2 together.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or 'ah ha' moment that you've experienced in relation to your business?
In the early days of The Kettle Gourmet, I decided to implement a purely digital-first approach, selling our popcorn through our own website and partnering with online retailers across Singapore. Looking back, it was the best decision I've made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kettle Gourmet managed to grow about 247% in sales.
Our founder’s book recommendation
In the article, Zac recommended a book called the richest man in Babylon. He shared that the book has dispensed financial advice, which has guided him in making better financial decisions.
The Kettle Gourmet now
For those who are hearing of us for the first time, who are we? The Kettle Gourmet is a Singapore-based popcorn manufacturer and distributor. We aim to make snacking fun for you! Featuring a wide range of local, unique flavours and traditional favourites Salted Caramel and Chocolate. We also use quality ingredients, including non-GMO natural corn and no trans-fat. We also offer free delivery islandwide, so that you enjoy various flavours of the East from the comfort of your home.
The secret to The Kettle Gourmet’s success
In line with what our founder, Zac, mentioned in the article, the Kettle Gourmet is in the F&B space. In spite of that, we have thrived even in the pandemic precisely because of the digital-first strategy the Kettle Gourmet has adopted.
Curious to find out more? Check out our earlier article on how we increased our market awareness in the pandemic here.
Additionally, the other key to the Kettle Gourmet’s success is our commitment to incorporate more exciting and vibrant flavours into popcorn, as mentioned in the article.
Indeed, we have a wide variety of flavours that you didn't know was possible, creating a wide range of wacky flavours. Nasi Lemak popcorn? Our Popcorn combines all the traditional flavours of Nasi Lemak. It is a perfect mix of flavours infused with an initial taste of ikan bilis, distinctive pandan flavours are thrown into the mix and the ending node of the famous Nasi Lemak sambal sauce packs a good amount of heat to go with the rest of the flavours.
Specialty Local Flavours
Other than Nasi Lemak, The Kettle Gourmet also has other speciality local flavours. We have Chilli Crab flavoured popcorn, nostalgic Kaya Butter Toast that we all enjoy in the coffee shop, finally we also have chicken floss, familiar food that is versatile, generally sprinkled over porridge cooked rice, sandwiches, bread, and various other foods. Our popcorn can also be eaten as a snack!
Finding gift ideas for the upcoming festivities like Hari Raya ? The Kettle Gourmet specially curates gift boxes and bundle deals to find a perfect gift for your loved ones. Bundles such as our Crazy Asian bundle which consists of Nasi Lemak, Kaya Butter Toast and Chilli Crab, taking your taste buds on a journey of Singapore’s local cuisines. Our popcorn is also halal-certified, so rest assured, our Muslim friends, The Kettle Gourmet’s popcorn is halal.
We also have other unique flavours such as chocolate and the traditional salted caramel. IF you can’t get enough of our popcorn we also have a subscription service for you, having 3 options for you (3 months at 10% off, 6 months at 15% off and 12 months at 20% off) delivering you your monthly supply of snacks right to your doorstep so you will never have to go down to the supermarket to get more. You can discover our subscription service here!
Check out our website at The Kettle Gourmet and come try it out for yourself. Explore our range of mouth-watering flavours.