With all the snacking in lieu of meals US consumers do these days, Kitchen Crafted would’ve found tough competition in the burgeoning dip section. That’s why the company is branding itself as a ‘savory spread.’
Carving out a novel category is a strategy that Kamdar, who founded Kitchen Crafted with his family, learned from his long career in strategy, forecasting, and analytics at Kraft. Most US consumers aren’t so familiar with having a savory spread for aperitifs or when they’re entertaining, Kamdar argued, and chips and dips reign as the go to party snack.
“We based it on how people substitute products,” he added. It’s a mathematic process. “Let’s say for example there are two categories, like gelatin or pudding,” he said. “And if you come up with another brand of gelatin or brand of pudding, then the kind of share you’ll get is much smaller than if you came up for a new category for dessert.”
Welcoming more flavor
The company was started in late 2016, selling dry spice blends (BLND) sold online on Kitchen Crafted’s website. The SPRD line launched in January 2017.
Their brick-and-mortar reach is still quite small, selling at Florida’s Lucky’s Market and Earth Origins, but Kamdar said that the time is right to market flavorful spreads and spice blends in the US.
“I came to the US 40 years ago. When we got married, my wife had all these spices on four to five shelves, like a typical Indian household,” he said. “We invited some couples, and they saw the spices, and someone commented ‘Are you in the spice business?’” he laughed. “If you think about it, three decades ago, the idea of spices in the US was just salt and pepper.”
But Kamdar noticed the rising propensity towards spicier foods and diverse flavors US consumers today have that many other trend forecasters have noticed. “In recent times, Americans are demanding food from more global cuisines,” he said.
Social media videos to familiarize the audience
Kamdar said that in store demos and social media videos are pivotal in building awareness about SPRD, not just as a brand, but also how to use savory spreads in day-to-day life.
“We wanted to partition the market, so our whole concept from day one was to create a new category of condiment,” he said. “People still need to be familiarized, so we had James beard chef Andy Williams to create eight different recipes [with SPRD] and we created videos.”
The videos resemble the popular, bite-sized, 30-second overhead-view cooking tutorials that are sprinkled throughout social media, published by content creators like Tastemade or Buzzfeed’s Tasty. It fits the style of the demographic Kitchen Crafted wants to target, Millennials.
“They’re much more exploratory,” Kamdar said. “They used to like the same foods, but now they’re exploring all the different cuisines.”