Thong Siek Food Industry, Singapore’s leading frozen processed seafood manufacturer with its popular ‘DoDo’ Seafood Treats brand of fish balls, crab sticks and other products, is now venturing into the snack business.
In August, its new line of crab stick crisps bearing its name and logo will be in the snack aisles at most major supermarket chains in Singapore like FairPrice, Sheng Siong and Prime supermarkets.
The diversification into snacks followed Thong Siek’s acquisition of 51% stake in Crusty’s, a home-grown business which manufactures snacks such as fish skin, soya skin, potato chips and popcorn.
The new crab stick crisps, in Salted Egg and Hot & Tangy flavours, are just the start of a new line of snacks the 2 companies will develop together. The munchies are made with surimi, the fish protein which DoDo turns into crab sticks, fish balls and other products.
DoDo's Business Development Director Ching Ting Soon said, “We were looking for innovative ways to use our food products. Fried crab sticks are popular during Chinese New Year. We manufacture crab sticks and later decide to package them into a snack.” Ching added that snacks is a fast growing segment during the pandemic.
Crusty’s Co-Founder Kenny Ng said, “The challenge in producing snacks is to get the right texture and crunch. Our snacks have a shelf-life of 12 months, longer than the usual crab stick snacks in plastic tubs sold during Chinese New Year. We want to make this a year-round snack not just for Chinese New Year.”
DoDo’s partnership with Crusty’s has resulted in the development of the snacks, which originally has a high moisture content, into a packaged snack with the right texture. Both partners are also looking at alternative technologies other than frying for their new snack product. Kenny added, “The snack market is going in the healthy direction and we are looking at technology that can help with that. For instance, a 100% baked snack. People are looking for choices. They also want to see the Healthier Choice and non-GMO labels.”
Presently, the new crab stick crisps, which will cost S$6 (US$4.41) for an 80g bag, will be manufactured at Crusty's 3,000 sq.ft facility in Admiralty.
There are plans to export the snacks to other countries in Asia in the medium term followed by the EU and US markets.
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