Good Talk Series: Snacking With A Modern Twist, ft. Kelly Snacks

Good Talk Series: Snacking With A Modern Twist, ft. Kelly Snacks

Interview with Serene, Founder of Kelly Snacks

Step into the delicious realm of Kelly Snacks as we sit down for a chat with the heart and soul of the brand – its passionate founder. Journeying from a cosy home-based setup to gracing the pages of The Straits Times within a month, Kelly Snacks has quickly become a snack sensation.

Join us for a friendly chat with the founder, a true food enthusiast, and discover the story behind the brand's commitment to delivering an unparalleled snacking experience. As a bonus, stay tuned for some valuable advice from Serene for those considering their own flavourful ventures.

GiftGood: So glad you could join us today. Let’s start with a fun question. As a kid, did you aspire to have a career in the food industry? 

Serene: Not at all. I was not entrepreneurial at all and did not even think of starting my own business. 

GiftGood: Can you share with us what sparked the idea for Kelly Snacks? Was there a specific moment when snacks stopped feeling as special as they used to be?

Serene: I snack very often and always look out for new ones on supermarket shelves. It came to a point where I got very tired of eating the same snacks. I mean, why is it always that few imported brands with products in very typical flavours and bases? Is it possible to carve out a new niche in that space? Thus, I decided to make some of my own.

GiftGood: The name "Kelly Snacks" must have a lovely backstory. Can you share more about why you went with that name and how that personal touch reflects the brand's spirit? 

Serene: Kelly is the name of my mum. I decided to name the brand after her because I started from her kitchen. The name is also easy to recall, spell and pronounce by different nationalities so I just stuck with it. 

GiftGood: Crafting snacks that blend our traditional local flavours with a modern twist, like the tasty Crispy Pops and Crabsticks, must be quite an adventure. We're curious - how did the R&D process look like when you started bringing Kelly Snacks to life? 

Serene: I have no culinary background so I had to rely on online sources and my own foodie intuition to craft the taste from scratch. While experimenting with the Cereal Butter flavour for the first time, I mistook rolled oats for cereal. I also whipped up a big wok of it as I did not know how to portion the ingredients properly. As I cooked, I kept thinking why the texture was so mushy instead of crispy and that was the moment I realised my folly. Nobody dared to taste it, including myself, so I had to dump the whole dish. I definitely felt the pinch so after that incident, I always researched every ingredient thoroughly and proportioned them carefully before conducting any R&D to minimise any food wastage.

Kelly Snacks Products

Source: Kelly Snacks

GiftGood: Reflecting on your journey with Kelly Snacks, can you share some heartwarming or challenging moments that stand out? 

Serene: I find it heartwarming when customers regard the snacks I invented as a Singapore souvenir worthy of sharing with their loved ones overseas. They are also very supportive of my business. For instance, I have this customer who buys cartons of the Cereal Butter Crabsticks to send to her daughter in Japan.

It also felt amazing when the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) decided to include my snack for their Singapore Food Festival 2023 Box, which is curated to represent local flavours and is distributed worldwide.

The biggest challenge for me is to make customers understand that my snacks are handcrafted by real people and are made with premium ingredients, so it’s priced higher than your conventional mass-produced snacks like chips. They tend not to value the effort that goes into the making of the snacks and compare it with chips or lower quality snacks.

GiftGood: The Chinese New Year 2024 collection has our taste buds tingling! What inspired the mouth-watering Chilli Lime Prawn Fritters and Mala Prawn Crackers? 

Serene: My brand concept has always been to reinvent local snacks by fusing them with new flavours. I wanted to take this CNY opportunity to try out new ideas again and test the waters before introducing any new permanent products. 

Kelly Snacks CNY products

Source: Kelly Snacks

GiftGood: For aspiring entrepreneurs dreaming of snack adventures, what friendly advice would you offer based on your experiences? 

Serene: Given the market conditions that we are in now, it is better to start small and adjust along the way instead of putting too much on the line to scale up the business quickly. Ideally, you should also try to connect with the relevant industry people and check the product’s commercial viability in the longer run.

GiftGood: Serene, thank you for such a delightful chat. Wishing you continued success and joy in your flavorful journey!

As we conclude our talk with the creative mind behind Kelly Snacks, let’s spice up your Chinese New Year gift boxes with the bold flavours of their Chilli Lime Prawn Fritters and Mala Prawn Crackers here, or check out our ready-to-go Chinese New Year hampers for 2024, carefully curated with the best local and festive flavours to add a dash of joy to your celebrations.

Oh, and here's an extra reason to rejoice – GiftGood and Kelly Snacks have a special Instagram giveaway from January 29th to February 4th. Head over to our Instagram page, follow us, and stand a chance to win these delightful snacks. Wishing you a New Year filled with crunchy joys and tasty adventures!
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