Bangkok Cookies burst onto Thailand’s souvenir scene before the pandemic and quickly rose to become a tourist favourite, particularly those visiting from South East Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.
It also became a hit amongst consumers looking to conveniently bring the taste of Thailand abroad with no need for further cooking or processing, making local flavours such as Tom Yum and Crab Curry the most popular items within the brand’s portfolio.
“Bangkok Cookies are made using three types of rice grains – sticky, white and jasmine – that are fried with a special technique allowing the grains to remain visible, and this is our main value proposition to consumers,” Bangkok Cookies parent company Siam M.C. Export Sales Manager Woralak Krutchaiyan told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Each type of rice has a specific purpose – sticky rice gives the binding, white rice gives the crispy crunch, and jasmine rice brings the fragrance and texture.
“We found early on that the popularity of local flavours such as Tom Yum and Crab Curry skyrocketed in the travel retail scene where we sell with our partner King Power, but as the market matures and recognises us more other flavours are also rising in popularity such as seaweed, cheese and most recently crayfish.
“This is a sign to us that the product is ready to enter more export markets with more types of flavours and also move beyond being just a souvenir but a regular rice snack.”
Bangkok Cookies are currently already being exported to Costco supermarkets in the United States and Sam’s Club in China, but is not yet in any supermarkets locally.
“Supermarket entry is something we are looking at and discussing right now, but there are various factors to consider before this,” Krutchaiyan said.
“We know what ingredients to use now to get the best product, so it will be about adjusting retail sizes to meet price points that consumers are comfortable with spending on more regularly, as well as the flavours that are suitable for this sort of retail.”
When it comes to exports though, the firm already has very clear targets for expansion based on local demands.
“We see Europe and Singapore as major target export markets moving forward as we know both of these want unique Thai flavoured snacks,” she added.
“We also intend to match new flavours for the local markets that we enter, but the first key target will be to anchor with our Thai flavours then adjust localisation accordingly.
“Other Asian markets of interest to us include the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and so on.”
Although the firm’s rice crackers have been such a roaring runaway success, it believes that it is necessary to widen its portfolio beyond just this item in order to achieve sustainable growth.
“There are many product variants we are looking at beyond rice crackers, for example dried fruits and other types of rice products,” she said.
“We already have the expertise with rice, so we can make these into more types of healthy snacks, nutrition bars and so on depending on where the innovation takes us.”