Startup Watch

UK popcorn and crisp brand Yumsh Snacks enters chocolate category

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Yumsh Snacks manufactures Ten Ace free-from crisp and popcorn products. Pic Yumsh Snacks
Yumsh Snacks manufactures Ten Ace free-from crisp and popcorn products. Pic Yumsh Snacks
Manchester-based Yumsh Snacks has started producing Bean & Pod chocolates while waiting for its manufacturing facility to be certified free-from, CEO Tony Goodman told BakeryandSnacks.

Yumsh, which has recently just celebrated its three-year anniversary, started with hand-cooked crisps, according to the company. The popcorn production came nine months later.

“We saw a gap in the [UK] market for high quality products, but also met all the free-from criteria,”​ Goodman said.

“Free-from at that time was synonymous with ‘tasteless’ to be honest,”​ he said.

Yumsh’s popcorn and crisps are sold under a sub brand called Ten Acre Snacks, and each product category offers a variety of flavors. In addition, Yumsh also owns a separate popcorn brand, which includes orange- and apple-flavored popcorns, called Poptang Tango.

Popcorn is the most “dynamic” category among all types of savory snacks in the UK, with a 21% CAGR between 2011 and 2016, according to the latest Euromonitor report.

“Sales of popcorn in the UK benefit from the low-calorie and wholegrain positioning of most brands,” ​Euromonitor said.

“In addition, this area is seeing innovation, with a focus on innovative flavors such as yogurt and coconut, lemon cheesecake and caramel.”

Broad-space snack category

Goodman said when he started Yumsh Snacks, he projected it to be a “broad-space snack company, and chocolate has always been on his agenda.

“We found a manufacturing plant last year [near Manchester] that could make chocolate for us. It doesn’t meet all the free-from credentials yet, which is why we created the chocolate under the Bean & Pod label instead of the Ten Acre label,”​ he said.

Open Box Dark
Source: Yumsh Snacks

Yumsh did a soft launch of the new chocolate at the end of last month through selected local stores, and received positive feedback from consumers, Goodman mentioned.

“These are gifting chocolatez; what Americans call truffles. At the moment, we have selection boxes of limited product offerings (milk and dark chocolate), but we’'ll be launching several products through newly-signed distributors over the next few months,”​ he said.

Goodman noted the dark chocolate is dairy-free, and hopes to eventually extend this across the range sold in the UK.

Expanding distribution

Yumsh conducts business in more than 40 countries, and its international market together represents one-third of the overall business, according to Goodman.

Even though certain regions have their preferences for particular snack flavors, Goodman found it surprising that many international consumers have similar taste pallets compared to their British counterparts.

“We’re selling quite a lot in South Korea, and we’re growing in that market quarter-on-quarter. It’s surprising that they like similar flavors to the UK. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t, but it isn’t naturally expected,” ​he said.

Yumsh is also in negotiations with overseas distributors, and is expected to continue expanding its international footprint, Goodman said.

The company has so far experienced 45% year-over-year growth and targets an additional 5% growth this year with the newly-created chocolate.

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