The Start of Something New
Yong Mama: A family tradition passed down to all
Like most food businesses, a family is what started it all. However, Yong Mama had no idea how much potential their prawn murukku would have.
Once upon a time in 1999, Madam Chua Siew Yong came across some scrumptious shrimp chips during one of her rounds selling her homemade cookies and pastries in her neighborhood.
She was awe-struck and decided to recreate the recipe because it was so memorable.
Before long, she perfected the desired recipe and shared the idea with her husband.
Luckily for them, living in a Kampung Nelayan (Pantai Remis, Taiping) proved beneficial. Fresh seafood was plentiful straight from the dock so they never ran out of their main ingredient, prawns.
Over the years selling to friends and family, Madam Chua found new and better ways to enhance their prawn murukku recipe because quality is always a must.
Nurturing their Potential
Expanding the potential for prosperity
From selling to friends and family over several years, Yong Mama then began to sell to the whole community.
Soon, they were able to further market their prawn murukkus with peak sales during the Chinese New Year season.
A better batter for better business
With more customers rolling in, countless constructive feedback did too. Thankfully, there were no complaints on the flavor and taste.
But, some commented on the inconsistency in the size, shape, and color of the prawn murukkus.
Since quality is Yong Mama’s top concern, recipe improvements were made to resolve these issues without impacting the flavor their customers have grown to love.
It’s all in the name
Even though murukku had many competitors, fortunately, prawn murukku had little to no competition at that time since it is a totally different product.
However, this became a problem when approaching dealers since murukku is a traditional snack with a definitive shape, color, and size.
It was a necessary risk to take even though changing their product name meant a wider competition. Be that as it may, Yong Mama is unlike the others.
Most competitors in the market use seasoning to coat their crackers but Yong Mama’s recipe is all in the batter where the flavor is most accentuated.
With this in mind, they are certain and confident that their prawn murukkus will rise among others.
Yong Mama Marketing Concerns
Currently, Shopee, dealers, and agents are Yong Mama’s main distributors. Each dealer was given one area to market the prawn murukkus so the business is under control.
As for the price, Yong Mama gives a recommended price to the dealers to sell the prawn murukkus.
Because Yong Mama uses a B2B approach and mainly focuses on manufacturing and distributing, they faced problems when looking for dealers.
Thus, Yong Mama needed to find a new way to do business to make sure they did not miss any opportunities to grow.
Making Progress to Success
Yong Mama all year round
Yong Mama’s prawn murukkus have seen a huge demand during the Chinese New Year season.
This is mostly due to the prawn murukku packaging. The cap used is red which symbolizes good fortune, happiness, good luck, and success for the Chinese culture.
So, they began engaging in new efforts to sell throughout the year to reach an even bigger market.
Yong Mama beyond borders
To further solve their limited market problem, Yong Mama has been planning to export their prawn murukkus.
Rather than a red-capped container that only appeals to customers during Chinese New Year, Yong Mama has completely redesigned their packaging to a pouch package.
Also, they made their prawn murukkus more consumer-friendly. Yong Mama put less product in their new packaging from 200g to 50g at a lower price.
However, Yong Mama will still market their prawn murukkus in the red cap container. This is to maintain their regular customers during Chinese New Year.
Words of Wisdom by Yong Mama
We asked Yong Mama for any advice for other food business beginners. They shared some valuable and realistic insights on how to survive and succeed.
“Try to set higher goals in which target for export and don’t stay domestic only. The domestic market is very limited and small. And if you don’t get the halal cert, then your market becomes smaller. Having the halal cert in Malaysia, you can bring your product to Arab, Saudi, etc. If you have another cert means you have another market to try.”
They also recommended that all food businesses should digitalize their business.
“In such a growing technology era, word of mouth, face to face trade such as selling at pasar malam or hawker stalls are a very limiting game plan.”
So, having an online presence like Facebook Live, Instagram or your very own website with Google Ads can prove beneficial.
For more information or to order online, head over to Yong Mama Prawn Muruku.