From the get-go, it was important for us to take our novel coconut smoothie range to the world. Our first roadshow, post-launch, included Singapore, Thailand and the Maldives. Our intention was to gather as much consumer and market insights on the product.
In Singapore, we partnered with Ceylon Spice Co., an importer and distributor of Sri Lanka premium products, to hold a sampling session with over 30 participants. Some of the distinguished guests included Rishi Naleendra – Michelin 2 star chef of Cloudstreet and Kottuwa, Joe Mohan – CEO of Boncafé, Janath Gamage – Director at Leo Burnett, Lakshanthi Fernando – President of the SLBA and Sabina Munshi – Entrepreneur.
In Thailand, we partnered with Launchr and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Bangkok to hold a sampling session with retail and industry associations. The event was honored by representatives from retail conglomerates – Big C and Central Food Retail – and industry partners such as Asiatic Agro.
In the Maldives, we met and sampled to F&B and sourcing managers of resorts, city cafes, supermarkets and distributors. The list included Hardrock, Bandos, Maagiri, Universal Group, STO, and Bread Matters.
The sampling sessions provided us several valuable insights. The use cases for the Nootz range were indicated as a dietary supplement in between meals, as a refreshment option after an activity, as a dessert option after a meal and as a recipe option in cocktails and toppings. F&B managers in the Maldives were particularly interested in the Nootz Pineapple to make pina colada directly. Survey participants also commented on the attractiveness of the Nootz packaging, rating its ability to catch the consumer’s eye and deliver the true essence of the brand. We also received a gauge of what the consumers thought of the products appearance, aroma, texture and taste.
When we returned to Sri Lanka, we used the consumer feedback to immediately work on improvements for our subsequent batch. We are now in discussion with customers from Singapore, Thailand and Maldives to launch our Nootz range in retail and HORECA.