01/04/2024 01:56 PM

By Rozlin Rusharmeen Rosmin

KUCHING, April 1 (Bernama) -- Nurul Arfiqah Ali started her business in 2015 by selling snacks in mini packs at school canteens, and at the same time, distributing samples of the snack for free.

Now, her spicy cornflake-based snack food is selling like hotcakes, with almost 10,000 jars during the festive season.

The 33-year-old woman from Kampung Senari in Jalan Bako, near here, said she had not expected her product, based on a recipe passed down by her mother-in-law, to sell well with sales value reaching RM200,000 during festive seasons, such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya,  Gawai and Christmas.

"If it's not the festive season, it can reach up to 6,000 jars a month... Normally, when demand for the snacks increases, such as for Hari Raya, Gawai, and also orders for events, I’ll get more workers,” she said when met by Bernama at her residence recently.

The youngest of five siblings said that the encouraging response to her product prompted her to hire single mothers and housewives to help her with the orders, thereby opening job opportunities for women in the village.

“The women help me with the cooking and then the packaging process. Normally, they work from 8 am to 5 pm, but when we have many orders, we also have a night shift from 7.30 pm to 2.00 am," she said.

According to Nurul Arfiqah, a similar cornflakes product with honey or salted egg flavour can be found in the market, but hers, known as Wlakes' has a combination of spicy, sweet and salty flavour with “sambal”, nuts and anchovies used as the main ingredients.

During her fourth year in the business, the mother of two decided to expand the market and appointed agents to sell and distribute her products.

"We started with 10 agents consisting of close friends and relatives... Alhamdulillah, now we have almost 200 agents throughout Malaysia and also Brunei," she said, adding that she also promoted her product on social media platforms, namely Instagram and Facebook, since 2017.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for her products soared and she had her hands full to meet orders received online through agents during the Movement Control Order period.

"FELCRA Berhad also helped to market my product by giving me a business site for free at its event. So from there, more people know about my product," he said, who also received orders for the snack to be given as gifts at events.

Nurul Arfiqah’s 'CrunchyNut Cornflakes' snack comes in three flavours - anchovies, cashew nut and peanut and is sold in jars of various sizes starting from RM22 per jar.

Her next aim is to get her product on the shelves of local supermarkets and to take advantage of e-commerce platforms such as TikTok Shop and Shopee to increase sales of her product.