Flavourful convenience: Taokaenoi rolls out multiple new format innovations to keep seaweed snacking on trend

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Taokaenoi has launched several new format innovations of its products to capitalise on rising consumer demand for convenience and flavour intensification. ©Taokaenoi
Taokaenoi has launched several new format innovations of its products to capitalise on rising consumer demand for convenience and flavour intensification. ©Taokaenoi

Related tags Seaweed snacking formats

Seaweed snack giant Taokaenoi has launched several new format innovations of its products to capitalise on rising consumer demand for convenience and flavour intensification in its various target markets.

Taokaenoi first made a name for itself with its flat seaweed strip snacks produced in various flavours, successfully conquering the local Thai market for seaweed snacks and snacking and expanding its market reach to over 35 countries globally.

But although seaweed snacks already hold an advantage over regular potato or extruded corn snacks from a nutrition perspective – being known to be high in nutrients such as iodine, tyrosine, fibre, protein and vitamins – the firm has also invested a lot in R&D over the years in order to ensure that the sector does not go stale.

“One area we are very active in is in format innovation – in addition to the regular roasted seaweed strips we also found a lot of success with larger-sized roasted seaweed sheets and rolls, as well as the tempura range of seaweed snacks,”​ Taokaenoi International Brand and Marketing Director Chirawit Wongpitak told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“One of our latest innovations in this area is the Super Crisp format of seaweed snacks – our technology has ensured that this new format of seaweed strips gives an entirely different mouthfeel, making it much crunchier than the regular format and also delivering much more intense flavours with every bite.

“Our research has indicated that grilled and roasted flavours and textures are making a big comeback and growing very quickly across many regions – this is particularly obvious when observing food trends from the west, which generally lead the trends elsewhere.

“There was previously a lot of focus on fried items, such as our tempura range, but more recently we have seen increased demand for our grilled and roasted items instead – this is likely because these are somewhat healthier, and the taste profiles are increasingly finding favour with consumers that want to move away from the greasier, heavier type of snacking.”

Taokaenoi’s seaweed Super Crisp comes in several flavours that are more on the intense side to further ride on the demand for intense flavours, such as kimchi and hot chilli squid.

From snacking to full meals

In addition to this, the firm has also moved to combine seaweed snacking with traditional mealtimes by launching a very different format of seaweed products, which are seaweed flakes similar to furikake.

“We have taken much care to ensure these seaweed flakes in an unmistakeable Thai style, very different from flakes in the Korean (kimjaban) or Japanese (furikake) styles,”​ Wongpitak added.

“The main reasoning behind developing this format of product is the understanding that consumers are on the lookout for convenient foods alongside that flavour for their regular meals.

“These flakes can definitely fulfil the convenience factor as there is no need to cook a whole extra dish to get that flavouring such as with fried rice or fried noodles which can be hard work for those less familiar with the kitchen – the flakes will add to the flavour directly by just adding to rice or noodles, then with something like an egg it will be an easy complete meal in just minutes.”

The seaweed flakes are available in most Thai supermarkets Original Sesame, Salted Egg, BBQ and Chili flavours.

Wongpitak also previously highlighted in our FNA InnovATE video series​ the strong influence of the Korean Wave or Hallyu on the South East Asian market, particularly in Thailand where K-pop has become a very strong influence and point of attraction for younger consumers.

“These Korean trends extend to the entire snacking industry, but it has served as a particularly strong boost for the seaweed snacks market,”​ he said.

“This is because seaweed is very much related to Korean food, as it is a well-known traditional staple for them both as a snack as well as a main dish, and this association has been very good for us.”

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