Singapore start-up Craft Truffles to broaden product line-up, eyes expansion in SEA

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Craft Truffles aims to branch out beyond its domestic market by expanding its product portfolio. ©Craft Truffles
Craft Truffles aims to branch out beyond its domestic market by expanding its product portfolio. ©Craft Truffles

Related tags truffles Singapore Sauces condiments

Singapore start-up Craft Truffles is aiming to branch out beyond its domestic market by expanding its product portfolio and participating in trade shows to connect with overseas distributors.

After more than a year in business, Craft Truffles is now looking to bring the brand beyond its domestic market.

The firm works directly with a truffle farm in Italy, where its products are manufactured. At the moment, the products are sold via its website and e-commerce platforms like Shopee and Lazada, as well as a few retail stockists in Singapore.

According to Celine Yeo, Marketing and Sales Director of Craft Truffles, the company targets to expand its product line-up and enter at least one new market this year.

“We now have a sense of what consumers think and like about our products, and we are ready to grow. We’re looking at other South East Asian markets, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, because we see that there aren’t many options there when it comes to truffle products, even in Kuala Lumpur.

“To penetrate a new market, working with a distributor might be a more sensible and productive way. This is why we will be participating in the FHA-Food & Beverage trade show and Boutique Fairs event in April,” ​Yeo told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Besides taking part in trade shows and pop-up events to seek overseas expansion opportunities, the firm is also planning to raise brand awareness by strengthening its social media presence and exploring the potential of live commerce.

“Right now, the most effective way of selling for us is through gift sets. We did quite well during Christmas thanks to our gift sets. We want to do more on social media not just for sales, but also to engage with customers as we don’t have a physical shop.

“Our main challenge is navigating the very competitive online space to overcome algorithms and stand out among companies with big marketing budgets.”

While the firm is contemplating bringing the production to Singapore, it is concerned about the impact that might have on product quality, which it is not willing to compromise on.

“Everybottle comes with a seal that is designed to keep the product fresh during shipment from Italy to Singapore. We aim to be the local truffles specialist. Over time, consumers have become exposed to fine foods and are very discerning. If you give them something that is substandard, they’d know. Therefore, one of our priorities is to maintain the quality of our products.”

Versatility and convenience

Craft Truffles’ line-up comprises a variety of halal-certified, truffle-infused products, including mayonnaise, olive oil, honey, pasta sauce, sea salt, and butter.

“Our products can be utilised for something more complex for the cooking enthusiast, or they can be used as a dip, spread, or finishing touch. Nowadays, people don’t want to spend the whole day cooking. They just want to have a nice meal without spending too much money.

“They also want convenience — meaning using the same product to do different things with it. What we offer is versatility and the taste of luxury at home,” ​said Yeo.

The brand’s original-flavoured Truffle Infused Mayonnaise has been its best-seller, while one of its newer products Black Truffle Salsa was a hit among customers upon launch.

This year, the firm will be expanding its portfolio both in terms of category and flavour. It will also be actively working with other food brands. For instance, Yeo hinted at an upcoming collaboration with a local butter maker, which will be unveiled in April.

“New product types include condiment and salad dressing. We will also try to extend our array of finishing products. When it comes to flavours, we address gaps that we feel are missing in the market. We look at what pairs well with truffle and consumer preferences.

“People’s experiences with truffle vary from freshly shaved truffle in pasta to fries drizzled with truffle oil. At the same time, there are polarising opinions — some find that truffle smells like leaked gas, while others are big fans. When we do physical events, we get to understand what consumers like and dislike. We found that people tend to gravitate towards familiar flavours.”

For example, it was observed that Singaporeans, or Asians in general, get more excited about “anything that has a spicy note”.

It’s a bit dangerous to follow trends because they come and go, so we try not to go down that route.”

Premium or passé?

On the topic of trends, Yeo shared that although she has received comments about truffle being “passé” in the local market, it has remained a staple ingredient in many menus and products.

“I think it depends on how you apply it. On our website, we provide recipes on how to use our products for different cooking competency levels. These include Thai, Korean, Chinese and western dishes. The point is that you can use truffle in many ways, and they are easy to use.”

To enhance accessibility to its products, Craft Truffles has positioned itself in the mid-range.

“As we work directly with the Italians, there’s no middleman involved. We try to keep prices friendly so as not to intimidate consumers. In the market, there are some very lowly priced truffle products as well as premium ones. When something is too cheap, people get sceptical; and when it’s too expensive, people shy away. So, we price our products in the mid-range for better mass appeal,” ​she explained.

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