CEIT Spreads is a relatively young firm just established in April 2020 amidst the pandemic, but has already secured a strong online following comprising mostly of matcha-loving consumers who appreciate an authentic matcha experience.
“There are some other matcha spreads in the market but these are mostly very sweet and lacking in matcha aroma – which is key to any matcha experience – so we set out with the concept of a matcha spread that is less sweet but more matcha, including that matcha bitter aftertaste that matcha lovers usually seek,” CEIT Spreads Co-Founder Cegene Soon told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“So to do this, our matcha spreads contain no added sugar, just that which is naturally present in milk powder, and we also use matcha powder imported from Japan to make sure to bring that real tea aroma out in the spreads, [as we know] that what our consumers look for is the real tea aroma and also the authenticity of real matcha.”
In addition, CEIT Spreads also looks to appeal to those who look to maintain a healthy lifestyle and are more careful with their food consumption, which is where the no added sugar message comes in handy.
“The spreads contain just four ingredients which are matcha powder from Japan, milk powder, cocoa butter and vegetable oil – there are no artificial flavourings or preservatives used, so it really appeals to those focusing on a healthy lifestyle or looking for more natural foods, for which the demand seems to be growing these days,” said Soon.
The firm’s two main products are its Matcha Milk Spread and Houjicha Milk Spread – the houjicha spread is made by replacing the matcha powder with houjicha powder, which is also imported from Japan.
“The bestseller is still the matcha as many people still aren’t that aware about houjicha, what it is and the difference between that and matcha,” said Soon.
“Houjicha is more of a roasted green tea which will appeal to those who like some bitterness in their tea, as it is slightly more bitter than matcha.”
CEIT Spreads’ products are currently mainly available on major online platforms such as Shopee and Lazada, retailing at RM22.90 (US$5.57) per 180g bottle.
Not competing with other spreads
Despite being labelled as a spread along with others such as peanut butter and jam, Soon added that the firm does not see these as their competitors in any way due to the difference in consumer targeting.
“Most of our marketing is more targeted to matcha lovers, not as broad a base as those other spreads, so we [see ourselves as more of a separate category] and don’t view those so much as competitors,” she said.
“Instead, we operate on the belief that there is much we can learn from these sectors in terms of becoming popular spread products.
“At any rate, our spreads are new and much less common than say peanut butter or jam at the moment, so consumer curiousity is really very high,[ and we hope this will translate into even more returning consumers moving forward].”
As for whether the firm has any expansion plans, the firm’s Co-Founder Hau Lee told us that their objective would be to first look at conquering the Malaysian market before looking overseas.
“The idea is to concentrate on Malaysia first before looking outwards,” he said.
“As our main platform is online, we are able to send our products to all the states and federal territories in Malaysia, including over the ocean to Sabah and Sarawak, and are now working on establishing ourselves here first.”