The Sambal Nyet Phenomenon

It only takes an idea to build a food startup. However, it takes a lot more to make it succeed. 

All you need is smart marketing and branding. Sounds simple enough right? Remember, as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  

But, what if we told you the secret to a successful food product launch? How does selling 10, 000 units in under 1 hour sound? 

Let’s uncover this foodpreneur beginner’s marketing strategy and branding to help you get that ‘SOLD OUT’ notification too!

Your Target Audience

Clearly defining your target audience helps you to strategize your food business startup marketing. It isn’t possible to expect EVERYONE to buy your food product. 

So, identifying who your end-consumers are, in this case for the sambal market, will significantly guide you to create better content and engagement to exclusively connect with them. 

As for Sambal Nyet, the founder of the small food business targeted his own social media followers. However, before the actual launch, he grew his follower count by creating content that people love – simple cooking videos.

Not long after, his food startup branding strategy together with his bubbly personality helped him gain thousands of followers (potential buyers) in just a few months.

Solve a Problem

Sure, you can go ahead and sell your special recipe food and hope for the best, but creating a food product that solves your target audience’s problems will form a wider market.

In the case of Sambal Nyet, it may seem like only a side dish to pair with main dishes, but it was presented as the star of any dish. 

This is because Sambal Nyet is a quick fix to an easy meal for those too busy (or lazy) to prepare food. How’s that for branding strategy for startups?

What’s more is that the Sambal Nyet founder created videos on the ideal way to eat Sambal Nyet – with freshly cooked rice and fried egg, instant noodles, and fried chicken. 

This sambal marketing certainly spoke to the hearts of university students, office workers, and spicy food lovers.

More Foodipedia tips: Selling Food for Profit vs Selling Food you Cook Best


The Pre-launch Strategy for a Food Startup

Usually, Nike, H&M, and Swarovski use this unfailing marketing strategy for added suspense and boost people’s excitement.

But who said this can only big brands can apply this? Over time, even small businesses use this super strategy to boost their sales during the launch.

The Sambal Nyet team meticulously and cleverly planned their pre-launch. Here’s how.

5 days before launch

The founder announced he was going to launch his own product soon. Thousands of his followers couldn’t wait to know what it was. 

4 days before launch

He then shared a 1-minute video on his social accounts explaining the raw ingredients, process, quality control, and packaging of his food product. 

This sparked the interest of his followers who appreciated his transparency by letting them know how particular he was in the making of Sambal Nyet. 

3 days before launch

He announced a few other things such as the price, level of spiciness, where to purchase, and the release date.

His followers were ecstatic to know what was in store for them (literally!). Instantly, his eager buyers locked the date in their calendars to get their hands on the awaited Sambal Nyet.

Post-Mortem of Food Startup Launch

Surely, it isn’t traditional for a food business to actually share its product launch post-mortem to the public. But that isn’t the case for the Sambal Nyet team. 

Even though they sold out 10, 000 jars of Sambal Nyet in under an hour, it wasn’t ALL a success. 

The founder of Sambal Nyet listed out some of the weaknesses they had and how they will overcome them in the future. 

  1. Since Sambal Nyet is only sold on Shopee, as a rookie foodpreneur, it was tricky to figure out the system. As a result, this led to a delay in shipping. 
  2. Also, it was a super long process to package each parcel securely. Because they packaged Sambal Nyet in glass jars, they took extra care to bubblewrap each jar extensively so it wouldn’t break or leak during delivery. 
  3. Another weakness they found was the process of sambal packaging. Since the food production was too much to handle, they decided to invest in bottling, labeling, and sealing machines for a smoother and quicker process to packaging sambal. 

The Sambal Nyet team was not afraid of sharing their weaknesses for everyone to see. Instead, people commended it because it indirectly helps other food business startups to market food products.


The Recipe for Success for a Food Startup

The main takeaway from the Sambal Nyet phenomenon is that the recipe for success is to strategize, strategize, strategize. 

Evidently, not everyone can replicate this journey but the right food marketing strategy can certainly up-level your brand in the market. 

So, if you have an idea to sell packaged food in your home-based kitchen but don’t know how to market a food product, you’ve come to the right place. 

Get food product marketing strategies specially made for your food business by expert marketing strategists in the food industry

More Foodipedia tips: Effective Food Product Marketing Strategies for Local Business Owners in 2021

We level up food businesses. Is yours next?

Get in Touch with Us


Looking for solution to grow your food business ?

Let's talk !