Amid the rapid growth of the premium nut market, N&B Food, a nut snack maker, is gaining popularity by making crispy nut snacks by using coconut chips that can be enjoyed by all ages and genders.

AVING News interviewed Kim Han-na, the CEO of N&B Food, which participated in the MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) Seoul Food Startup Center.

Please introduce the company.

N&B Food, a manufacturer of healthy and delicious savory nut snacks. In the age of well-being and aging, people began to pay attention to their health. However, there is a common belief that healthy food is not tasty, so there are foods that are good for you but cannot be eaten easily. One of them is nuts, which tend to taste bland and dry.

So, as a way to thinking in reverse, we started our business in October 2018 to make delicious nut products. We have made many attempts to create nut snack products that tastes crunchy without heavy oil and artificial flavor, and finally came up Nuts Coco.

Nuts Coco contains many nutritious ingredients like coconut for immunity and brain activity, almonds rich in vitamin D, and natural fatigue-relieving agent pumpkin. Made with a patented method, it makes you feel full with just small amount, positioning itself as the snack suitable for those who want to lose weight or wants health supplement.

In April of this year, we launched Nuts Coco Grain by adding five hot air cooked domestic grains to Nuts Coco. Existing products are popular among the young customers in their 20s and 30s, and the new products are popular among the customers in their 40s and 50s for its golden taste.

Please describe the product in detail. Is there a special way to enjoy it?

The raw ingredients of Nuts Coco (nut bite cracker) and Nuts Coco Grain (grain bite cracker) are dried coconut chips, pumpkin seeds, nuts such as almonds, and five hot air cooked grain, and the product slogan is “delicious and healthy daily health.”

Major features are as follows. △Organic sugar △No caramel added △Added Jocheong and Himalayan pink salt made in the traditional way △Manufacturing health food in the form of gangjeong that can be eaten like a confectionery

The savory snack market, meaning light and sweet snacks, is growing rapidly. We take pride in ourselves on ensuring the health and taste of our products, and we can say that our snacks are designed to meet the needs and trends of our customers.

If you search for Nuts Coco on social media (Instagram, blog), you can easily find photos and videos of people eating it as a meal replacement with unsweetened yogurt or salad.

It can also be topped with ice cream to add flavor to the cool ice cream with a crispy texture. It is sweet, savory and crispy snack that can be enjoyed as a dessert with coffee and as a snack with beer.

Please introduce your staff.

I used the strengths that Asia was taking the second largest market share in savory snack market and nuts are recording an annual growth rate of 3% in savory snack ingredients to make company that makes savory nuts snacks. So I recruited people in production, marketing, and design to found the company N&B Food.

Jo Hoon, who is the representative, is in charge of overall design related to products by utilizing his expertise in design. Director Lee Jung-ho, who is in charge of production, has worked as a team leader in the product development and production team of one of the leading nut companies in Korea for about 10 years. I am in charge of marketing, utilizing 20 years of experience in China, KOTRA and Yozma Fund.

Currently, we N&B Food is developing and producing products directly at factories that have obtained domestic and international certifications such as ISO22000, ISO9001&14001, FSSC22000, FDA, and HACCP to ensure safety as well as taste of products.

What are your plans for the future?

In March 2020, I entered the 10th Youth Entrepreneur Academy and participating in the prototype business. As you may know, Nuts Coco, baked in the oven without oil, has crack due to its unique crunchiness. So, I am planning to make a bar form that is easy to eat by adding the by-products of Nuts Coco and the black rice whiskers, which contain ingredients that are good for bone health and skin.

Nuts Coco and Nuts Coco Grain can be found in coffee chain stores, salad makers, hypermarkets, and convenience stores, so when new products are released, we plan to use N&B Food’s product line-up by utilizing existing product sales channels. Nuts Coco was first launched in January 2019, and in April of that year, it was first exported to China and Singapore. Currently, we are preparing for the first batch of order, 50,000 bags, to send to the market and sell products through the Internet broadcasting with famous Wang Hong of China.

Do you have any countries in your mind for export?

It is a situation where we have obtained various overseas certifications for overseas export. Starting with China, we are thinking of exporting to various countries. We are doing the marketing activities through WeChat, and using Wang Hong to broadcast the product.

Also, we are planning to promote overseas branching projects with KITA and KOTRA to develop the North American (US, Canada) market. Since our products are a good match with coffee, we would like to open a business in the US by visiting/participating in coffee exhibitions. We aim to enter Costco, and we plan to manage the food safety (food defense, food fraud) that is important for this purpose, and make thorough due diligence at the company’s factory in the future.

Seoul Food Startup Center, which participated in MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) is providing support to the agri-food-related companies come up with innovative ideas and new products. It is supporting food processing technology, licensing, patents, design, and promotional marketing so that agricultural products can be reborn as high-value products. Various startup support services such as ▴Startup training ▴Mentoring ▴Consulting ▴Investment connection are prepared.

The official of the center said, “We are fostering start-up agri-food companies to help develop new competitive products. This is going to lead to the exports of Korea’s excellent agri-food and create more jobs, becoming a new growth engine for Seoul.”

The global news network AVING News has begun holding the MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) to help small and medium-sized companies enter the market and attract investment 365 days a year’ AVING News has been running online exhibitions since 2005 and had 975 online exhibitions so far. Its YouTube online exhibition has placed itself as Korea’s largest online exhibition hall that opens with 19,000 videos (booths) with more than 800,000 visits per month which means more than 10 million visits per year.

The MIK HOT SPOT online exhibition is scheduled to be held regularly according to the field, target market, and participating institutions, and it will be presented as a new type of online business by transforming the know-hows and values of the participating companies according to the trend. Companies that want to participate can apply and apply through the marketing support projects from supporting institutions in the local governments. Refer to the institutions for more information.

→ Go to MIK Hot Spot (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) special page

→ Go to MIK Hot Spot (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) information page