Beyond salted egg: Singapore’s IRVINS looks to diversify product flavours and categories amid continuous growth

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

IRVINS is open to diversify product flavours and formats beyond its best-known salted egg snacks. ©IRVINS
IRVINS is open to diversify product flavours and formats beyond its best-known salted egg snacks. ©IRVINS

Related tags Singapore Snacks

Singapore-based IRVINS is looking to diversify its product flavours and formats beyond its best-known salted egg snacks, to further market expansion and business growth.

Starting from a seafood restaurant famed for its salted egg crab dish, founder Irvin Gunawan toyed with the idea of combining his signature sauce with potato chips and fried fish skin in 2014.

The snacks became an instant hit and the brand’s first retail store opened two years later.

Since then, IRVINS gained a following not only among local consumers, but also foreign visitors. The brand rapidly expanded and is now available in more than 12 overseas markets, including Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Philippines, and the UAE.

It is also exporting to China via cross-border e-commerce platform Tmall Global, and is being retailed at supermarket chains like Costco and Albertsons in the US and Canada.

While the brand’s unique selling point has always been its salted egg-flavoured products, the firm does not rule out venturing into new concepts and product categories.

“Salted egg is the flavour that got us here, but we are always looking out for portfolio expansion opportunities. In fact, we rebranded from IRVINS Salted Egg to IRVINS in 2021, and I think that’s a step in the right direction.

“For us, expansion is also about going beyond the confines of Singapore and introducing this local brand of salted egg snacks to the rest of the world. We are open to any market that is interested in our products. It’s just that we have to work with the right distribution partner in those countries,” ​said Aje Permana, Senior Manager of Business Development at IRVINS.

He was speaking to FoodNavigator-Asia​ at FHA-Food & Beverage 2024 held in Singapore from April 23 to 26 April.

As part of its business and marketing strategy, IRVINS is also actively taking up collaboration opportunities.

“There’s always benefit for both parties when you do a collaboration, which can happen in many different ways. It could be in the form of character licensing — for example, we have had Pokémon, Super Mario, and Gudetama characters on our packaging.

“It could also be the co-development of new products. We’d worked with Nissin to create a range of instant noodle packs and bowls. What’s next is up to our imagination.”

In the pipeline

At FHA, IRVINS unveiled two products that are in the works, namely salted egg cornflakes and salted egg papadum.

The former is specifically targeted at children, as it does not contain any red chilli pepper typically found in all its products. It will also come in a smaller, easy-to-eat packaging size.

As for the salted egg papadum, Permana said that it is a result of the brand’s continuous brainstorming and innovation.

“Because we started from a restaurant, we have always wanted to explore different types of dishes and transforming them into snacks. That’s basically where the inspiration for most of our new product development comes from.

“Our [development to production] process is a little long because it’s not just about creating a product, but the packaging design and product testing also take time. The new salted egg cornflakes and papadum are expected to be launched later this year.”

IRVINS’s R&D team, operations office, and production factory are all located in Singapore.

Having entered the US and European markets, Permana has noted differences in preferences between consumers in western and Asian markets.  

“Western consumers are more familiar with salmon, so they prefer the Salted Egg Salmon Skin series. Our original Salted Egg Fish Skin is made with Pangasius dory fish skin and has a more pungent smell that is better accepted by the Asian palate.”

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