A baked mixture of love

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WHAT HAPPENS when an established chocolate brand joins forces with a top biscuit manufacturer? It marks an iconic culinary union with six new signature biscuits to show off.

The Hershey Company hand-picked Perfect Food Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd — more popularly known for its Julie’s brand — to partner with in a “breakthrough” in the biscuit industry, said Martin Ang, director of Perfect Food.

“We are thrilled about our new partnership with Hershey’s. Both brands were built on the same ideals and values, and I believe it is this foundation which sealed our partnership,” he said.

Perfect Food marketing manager Benny Chia says before deciding on the variants, each flavour was designed and tested for several months before the cookies were produced for the masses in October.

“The end result is to deliver a mind-blowing experience for each customer,” he said, explaining that only the finest cocoa from Hershey’s is used in the process, targeting the middle-class to higher income urban working adults and housewives while trying to appeal to the masses. “It may be slightly on the pricier scale, but you are essentially paying for what you get.”

Already available at stores nationwide, the Julie’s Hershey’s six variants are Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies, Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Vanilla Flavoured Cookies and Chocolate Waffles.

Chia says the new products have been selling like “hot cakes”, largely appealing to fans of both brands. In the final roll-out of the distribution plan, Julie’s Hershey’s cookie variants will be stocked in all major hypermarkets and supermarkets nationwide.

“The response has been overwhelming,” according to Chia, disclosing that in just about a month of sales, over 30,000 cartons — an estimated 720,000 units — have been snapped up.

It is clear that while both brands do not need an introduction, Perfect Food is opting for advertising strategies of billboards and television commercials on selected stations to boost marketing efforts of the cookie variants.

Apart from Malaysian outlets, plans are in the pipeline to share their “Baked with love” products throughout the region. The six variants will be launched in phases throughout Asia, including Taiwan and Mongolia, starting early this year, Chia says.

Perfect Food would not have much trouble crossing borders, having shared Julie’s across 70 countries in the Asia-Pacific, Africa, the United States and the Middle East since its establishment in 1982.

 

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 6, 2015.