SG snack brand The Golden Duck gets fans involved in product innovation

Ever wanted to play a part in deciding the next flavour of your favourite snack? Singaporean gourmet snack company The Golden Duck (TGD) is handing the reins of its newest gourmet snack to fans worldwide, allowing them to vote for the next flavour. Themed "The Great Snack Showdown", the voting process will run from 31 August to 20 September and the new flavour is targeted to be released in the fourth quarter of 2020. According to TGD, The Great Snack Showdown is "the perfect platform" for fans to be heard and dream up their own delicious creations.

Fans will be able to virtually handpick from a list of flavours and ingredients specially-curated by TGD's snack chefs, with a handful of classic and modern recipes almost ready to go in its kitchens. Before submitting their vote, fans can give their creation a hashtag too.

Among the list of flavours TGD currently offers include salted egg yolk potato ridges, chili crab seaweed tempura and sichuan mala hotpot. The snacks are currently available in Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, South Korea, Canada and the US. 

In a statement to Marketing, group brand manager Denis Tan said the idea was first suggested by TGD's intern who was overwhelmed with the number of snack suggestions she was receiving by our fans on social media. Its executive chef was also caught in a dilemma as she began thinking about the next snack recipe to put together for its next launch.

"Unfortunately, with COVID-19, our initial plans were also thrown out of the window, which was also when we decided that it was now time to let our fans have a say. This ultimately led to the development of The Great Snack Showdown, where TGD fans from all over the world now have the opportunity to co-create a snack of their choice, with us," Tan said. Tan added that it has been working on the campaign for just under a month, from idea generation to where it is now.

When asked why TGD chose to give fans the power to decide on the next flavour, Tan said it has always kept things real and relevant for its fans, including reimagining the dishes they love whether it is salted egg, chili crab or mala hotpot.

"This time around, it’s about levelling up again, listening in to our snacker’s suggestions and giving them a real opportunity to co-create a snack with us that they love. Besides, during these difficult times when social distancing has become a norm, we hope The Great Snack Showdown can help re-connect and re-energise a global community of passionate snackers," Tan said.

Campaigning will mainly be done on digital, with content creation and community engagement being key components of its campaign. According to Tan, TGD loves engaging with the community through social media, adding that some of the best content ideas come from them. It is also reaching out to its growing list of TGD fans through email or direct messages with an invitation for them to vote.

Co-founder and chief strategy officer Christopher Hwang said it has always loved hearing its fans' ideas and now they can have a say by casting a vote for their favourite. "The best part about this campaign is that you don’t have to be a food or culinary expert to vote, you just have to be passionate about snacking - and I am sure there’ll be others who will agree,” Hwang added. PR firm PR Communications and digital development team from EightFour are involved in this campaign.

TGD is also handing out weekly prizes for The Great Snack Showdown beginning 31 August. The list of grand prizes also include a Sony PlayStation 5 and staycation packages at Shangri-La Hotel and XY Hotel Bugis. According to the company, the first 1,000 voters will also win exclusive early access codes to be amongst the first few customers worldwide to try its newest gourmet snack.

Last year, TGD rolled out a mala-themed game, Mala Chase, in line with the debut of its new product. However, the “Sichuan Mala Hot Hot Pot” flavoured snack was only available through the online game, which was inspired by the old-school arcade game “Snakes”. Players were challenged with “eating” as many red peppers within the span of one minute, while avoiding bad purple peppers and crashing into their own growing tail of peppers within the game. 

Jonathan Shen, co-founder and CEO, said Mala Chase showcases the brand’s knack for pushing creative boundaries beyond its gourmet snacks. He added that saving the world from bland, boring snacks is TGD's ethos and it always wants to challenge the traditional model of FMCG.

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