Kayson Chan: Co-founder of Aroma Truffle & Co

The creation of Aroma Truffle started from a family dining experience in an urban café, where Kayson noticed that most of the diners in the café always ordered a plate of truffle fries to share among their friends and families. As truffle-flavored food was very popular and in demand, he saw an opportunity to make the truffle fries longer-lasting in crispiness and aroma so that customers can enjoy them anytime, anywhere they want.

“Building upon that idea, together with my brothers, Kenny Chan and Johnathan Chan, we started experimenting with our own versions of ‘truffle fries’ and as they always say, the rest is history,” says Kayson.

Kayson Chan

Incepted in 2018, Aroma Truffle aimed to bring sophisticated Italian gourmet food into the F&B industry. “Truffle is prized because of its extremely short shelf-life. We wanted to create a decent truffle experience that is affordable, and can be enjoyed anywhere,” says Jonathan Chan, Chief Chef of Aroma Truffle.

Aroma Truffle’s Success Attributes

“Driven to be Asia’s No. 1 in concept stores for truffle gourmet products, it’s essential to remain dynamic and work closely with our distributors and franchisees in different parts of the world through a mutually beneficial network,” affirms Kayson Chan. The team at Aroma Truffle is committed to the growth and support of the company’s franchise and distribution network. It aspires to make sure that its partners have the support and buying power needed to consistently generate successful sales growth.

In a market that has so many options for consumers, particularly for food, continued innovation and evolution are vital in staying relevant to customers and position themselves as their initial preferred snack/souvenir choice. Aroma Truffle has listened to its foreign consumers and worked effortlessly with its overseas partners to stay ahead of the competition, and to explore the untouched market in both developed and emerging markets. It will continue to solidify its place as the market leader in the snacks industry.

The Uniqueness of Aroma Truffle

Aroma Truffle is the first truffle chips brand made in Singapore. It has a laser-focus on quality and premium product offerings to consumers. It also implements continuous checks and improvement on excellence and innovation to live up to the claim: ‘The World’s Strongest Truffle Brand.’ Without competing directly with the big companies in the snack manufacturing industry, Kayson positioned his brand in the more premium and high-end segment. The company’s customer segment is not primarily targeted at the mass markets, but the ones with the higher buying power such as the affluent, fine food enthusiasts, millennials/Gen-Z, corporates, and tourism channels.

The uniqueness of the company lies in its use of real Italian truffle bits, especially black summer truffles. The company has a strong R&D team made up of trained chefs helmed by Johnathan.

According to Kayson, one of the challenges faced by leading food retailers is the threat of pricing and quality offered by ‘copy cats’ in the local market. He believes that the source, cost, and quality of the truffle ingredients play a key factor in beating the competition. Due to the high food cost involved in the unique recipes, the feasibility of mimicking and retailing a product at the same retail price with similar quality is quite difficult.

Since its soft launch in July 2018, the trio has sold more than a million packets of the signature wavy-cut truffle chips. 

Advising Budding Entrepreneurs

Kayson believes that his positive disposition towards anticipating new challenges keeps him motivated and drives him to do achieve his goals. In his entrepreneurial journey, Kayson has learned many important lessons from others and practiced them in his business. He listed some lessons for the budding entrepreneurs:

  • Be authentic and truthful to your customers and build a community. 
  • Provide a unique solution to your market, differentiating yourself from your competition.
  • Under-promise and over-deliver to your customers/community.

“But if I will choose one actionable lesson, it will be building a Culture of Discipline learned from the book ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins,” shares Kayson.