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Julie’s Biscuits was a big a part of my education years. I’d all the time maintain a small pack of her Peanut Butter Sandwiches in my bag, simply in case I wanted to sneak a chunk throughout class.
Now, the Sugar Crackers are my go-to an accompaniment to my morning espresso, or as a snack break at work.
Just lately, Julie’s has gone by way of an RM3 million world makeover to seize the hearts of a youthful goal market.
Director Tzy Horng Sai (Sai) in his assertion on Advertising Interactive, stated it was crucial, as biscuits have fallen out of recognition with the youthful crowd.
This isn’t the primary time Julie’s has rebranded. The truth is, 35 years in the past, she started life as Excellent Meals Industries (PFI).
She Was Born In Melaka
Julie’s was born in Alor Gajah, Melaka. Arrange by Su Chin Hock, the only real founder opened up his first Excellent Meals manufacturing unit in 1981 with simply 200 staff.
Initially an accountant, Su was all the time a visionary. Earlier than settling down with an R&D workforce to bake biscuits, he’d additionally had a hand within the development business.
Upon baking the primary few batches of biscuits, Su knew that he would deliver PFI to the worldwide market.
However nobody was going to recollect its identify. The home market was additionally stuffed with Chinese language biscuit manufacturers with lengthy names. He wanted one thing extra simply memorable.
“So out of nowhere, he got here up with Julie. It was straightforward to recollect and was a typical identify,” stated director Martin Ang in an interview with The Star. And so in 1985, the model was formally established as Julie’s.
Greater Prices For Higher High quality
Since its inception, high quality and grit had been prioritised all through the model. For instance, the cream wedged inside every Peanut Butter Sandwich is sourced from a US model, one which’s dearer than these utilized by rivals.
Su even refused to make use of synthetic colourings in Julie’s Strawberry Love Letters after turning into conscious of its unwanted side effects in making youngsters hyperactive, even when that will have lowered manufacturing prices.
However utilizing pricier substances meant promoting them at greater costs too. Distributors had been uncertain.
The biscuits had been bought at RM5, a steep worth in comparison with the typical RM2.50-RM3.50 from different sellers within the mid-1980s.
Regardless of the upper worth factors, prospects had been nonetheless shopping for the individually hand-smeared peanut butter cookies and fewer vibrant trying strawberry wafer sticks.
That gave Su the boldness to solely ever use the very best substances, ones he himself would eat too.
Since then, Julie’s has nonetheless been utilizing the identical substances from 1985, with no plans on utilizing cheaper or decrease grade substitutes.
Discover how the strawberry cream is white as a substitute of a shiny purple / Picture Credit score: Julie’s Biscuits
In 2015, Martin estimated that Julie’s had a 16% share of the native biscuit market the place 25% of their gross sales got here from their bestsellers, the Peanut Butter Sandwiches and Love Letters.
The model’s dedication to high quality put them on the radar when going world.
In 2014, Hershey’s had been in search of a enterprise accomplice in Asia. This was their first collaboration outdoors the US and Julie’s was handpicked for the collaboration.
Julie’s, meet Hershey’s / Picture Credit score: Julie’s Biscuits
The Individuals had been impressed with Julie’s small manufacturing unit, coupled with the institution of their merchandise abroad.
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“That, in addition to studying about our high quality and style, has led to this collaboration,” added Martin in a The Borneo Submit interview.
This led the 2 to launch six variants of Julie’s Hershey’s cookies which had been bought in all 10 ASEAN nations together with Taiwan and Mongolia.
By no means Promote Them Half Baked
Priding herself on high quality, Julie’s was not going to be pressured by different producers into promoting half baked (pardon the pun) biscuits.
Due to this fact, the model would solely launch 2-Three inventory conserving items (SKUs) a yr, ensuring they’re adequately developed and refined for a minimum of 2 years earlier than being stocked on cabinets.
These merchandise are even taste-tested by Su himself and won’t attain the market with out his approval.
Although different biscuit producers had been launching extra merchandise, Julie’s wasn’t tempted to increase their product vary too shortly.
To this point, the little blonde lady in pigtails sits on cabinets in over 18,000 retailers throughout Malaysia alone and has made a reputation for herself in 80 nations.
However it didn’t come with out some darkish occasions.
In October 2008, Julie’s was hit with its largest disaster when the biscuits had been discovered to be contaminated with melamine-tainted ammonium bicarbonate from Three factories in China.
Ammonium bicarbonate is a leavening agent utilized in baked items, and the contamination crashed Julie’s gross sales for the following 2-Three years.
Shares had been recalled and destroyed whereas orders had been withdrawn each regionally and internationally.
Julie’s repute suffered. Prospects misplaced religion within the merchandise. This resulted in a lack of roughly RM14 million from the catastrophe.
Julie’s manufacturing line / Picture Credit score: Julie’s Biscuits
Nonetheless, they managed to bounce again from the incident with the assistance of The Malaysia Exterior Commerce Growth Corp (Matrade) and the Ministry of Well being.
However the model nonetheless wanted to regain the belief from retailers and prospects. So in 2010-2012, they opened their doorways and invited worldwide and native distributors and retailers to go to their vegetation in Melaka to witness the manufacturing course of.
And their efforts labored. The sellers had been stunned by the cleanliness and stringent high quality checks applied contained in the manufacturing course of.
In 2014, Julie’s managed to usher in RM280 million gross sales and was on monitor to attain its focused RM500 million this yr.
Issues Are Trying Up
Julie’s new rebranding has offered a monumental process for the workforce.
Due to their many SKUs, stakeholders, and worldwide markets, the method of changing all belongings might be a rigorous one.
Very similar to their strategy with the standard of their merchandise, the rebrand of its company id took the workforce about 1.5 years to finish since beginning in mid-2018.
The designs even went by way of client focus teams to see if it could resonate with their audience.
“It was a really complete course of, we didn’t rush it as a result of we needed to ensure this labored for everybody,” stated Sai to Advertising Interactive.
The rebrand might be rolled out in Malaysia and Singapore first and can enter the export markets early subsequent yr.
You could find out extra in regards to the Julie’s Biscuits right here.You possibly can examine different Malaysian startups right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Su Chin Hock, founding father of Julie’s