The Silicon Review
“We strengthen our sturdy food industry experience with our own research and development department that concentrates heavily on developing new and premium products as well as clever solutions.”
The Odyssey of Kaslink
It all started back in 2001 with a bit of luck, a healthy dose of adventurous spirit and an endless supply of willpower.
Founded in 2001 by Raino Kukkonen, Kaslink is a family-owned food and Beverage Company, which is currently one of the fastest growing companies in Finland. The company was set up as a contract manufacturer that co-packed high-quality sauce bases for a customer to sell the products onwards to professional kitchens around Europe. It was a kick start and after witnessing the success, the company came up with a strategic plan to start manufacturing sauce bases in a rental premise with old machinery.
In 2006, the winds of change blew and Kaslink decided to concentrate on its operations to Kouvola where the factory was stationed. It started a brand business and developed its product range further. The new product categories, especially the liquid milk goods, and the growing sales of private label products played a significant role in Kaslink’s quick growth spurt. With new products and larger scale of production as part of the company’s daily routines, it naturally had to put more effort into quality control. In 2011, the demand for Kaslink’s products skyrocketed and it decided to invest in new production and packaging methods.
Today, Kaslink is known for specializing in developing and manufacturing premium Nordic food products. The company has invested 50 million Euros in the last 10 years and its products are sold in over 15 countries in Europe. With over 170 employees, Kaslink had a revenue of 60M Euros in 2017.
Equally Good Without Milk: Kaslink Aito
Currently, the Food and Beverage industry is in need of a lot of innovation in non-dairy and value-added beverages. Much of the world’s population today does not use milk and it does not seem to hinder them anymore. Kaslink works in the front-line of the industry with its customers and offers them the latest trends. So, focusing on non-dairy products, Kaslink created a genuine Aito product family and rolled-out its first own-brand last year and is now ready to commercialize in several countries by end of this year.
Non-dairy is booming and people are seeking good tasting options and Kaslink Aito is proved to be a major success as it is an alternative to milk made of domestic oats and is a genuine oat drink.
Customer Service Shouldn’t Just Be a Department; It Should Be the Entire Company
Earning the trust and respect of consumers all around the world is always through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of the company’s actions. To provide a good service level to the customers, one should work from bottom to top. It takes years for the companies in the food manufacturing industry to master all techniques and ramp-up the production in stages. And being one of the major players in the arena, Kaslink has worked on each and every element to provide the top-notch products and services to its customers.
Today, consumers are concerned about their personal and nutritional preferences; they want the companies to be transparent in the methods of how their products are produced. And Kaslink being one of the most trusted F&B companies, tracks where each and every raw material batch is harvested, collected and refined. The company is open to communicating about what raw materials it uses and how it produces the products and this culture of being true to consumers has definitely put Kaslink in the driver’s seat.
Talking about customer support, which is a critical part of Kaslink, the company has channels such as direct consumer feedback in social media including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The idea of staying in touch with the customers via social media has helped the company to foster a culture where customer satisfaction is a top priority.
“We sell +100 million consumer products a year and each product when used can make or break our customer relationship. We gain trust if we deliver what we promise. The operations have to be robust to match this mission.”
The Time Ahead For Kaslink
Kaslink approaches everything with an open mind and it is always striving to reach new frontiers in the food industry. The company believes it’s pivotal to steer clear of any and all comfort zones to try and make new, ground-breaking things for the consumers. The ultimate guiding light for Kaslink is giving the extra value to the consumers via the Kaslink expertise.
Kaslink aims at being a major player in the non-dairy products segment globally. Working toward this goal, the company’s non-dairy brand Kaslink Aito will have in total of +20 product recipes by the end of this year to facilitate similar what can be produced from dairy.
The Scandinavian company is all set to take the world by storm and it is determined to explore the newest consumer trends and create the new hit products of the food industry.
Kudos to the Kukkonen Family
The founding father of Kaslink is Raino Kukkonen. A nonconformist, Raino established Kaslink Foods was born in 2001. There has been a generational change in the company – Raino retired in 2015 and he is active as a Board Member. Currently, his three sons Juha-Petteri Kukkonen (VP, Marketing & Communications), Tuomas Kukkonen (CEO) and Matti Kukkonen (VP, Sales) have taken charge.
“Since the day Kaslink was established, we have been known to be a flexible and cooperative company. We gladly partner up for new inventions, mix-matching the thoughts and know-how of hardcore food industry professionals can only lead to new exciting innovations.”