From their base in Christchurch, Chanui produce and supply a range of biscuits to supermarkets and New Zealanders, offering options like shortbread, gingernuts, and Anzac biscuits.
Doug Hastie, the founder of Chanui, said that Chanui had had a lot of success selling tea, and when people were thinking of ideas for more products, his mind went back to the biscuits his mother or grandmother made when he was a kid, and he thought that some of the biscuits in supermarkets today weren't particularly good.
Hastie is always committed to producing the best quality products and selling them at a reasonable price. Nowadays, he doesn’t understand why people would purchase worse quality biscuits when the taste difference is substantial and better biscuits don’t cost that much more.
“I always think now: why buy poor quality products? The difference in taste is so much better and it’s not that much difference in price.”
A tough journey
Hastie says that it was very hard to get supermarket distribution at the start, and that he was having to constantly learn because everything was brand new. The big change for Hastie came in the form of television advertising, which caused more people to became aware of Chanui’s biscuits. Chanui also got credit from some people for the quality of the food.
For Hastie, it’s always a great feeling when he walks into a supermarket and sees Chanui’s biscuits there, as he was one of the people who started it right from the beginning.
He also notes the importance of putting in the hard yards and being disciplined when searching for success.
“It is hard work. You get told ‘no’ so many times, but you just keep going and that’s what drives your success. Whether it’s rugby or business or anything, it’s just hard work and discipline. That’s what drives success. There’s no silver bullet, it’s just hard work.”
Focusing on New Zealanders
By selling biscuits and being New Zealand made, Hastie can focus on products made in this country, as well as what’s good for fellow kiwis.
“The good thing about biscuits is we can focus on New Zealand made products, so it keeps some money in New Zealand. Our products are focused on what’s good for New Zealanders.”
Hastie continues to hold a firm belief in people, particularly those who have been with him since the beginning. He says things often come back to the idea of producing great products at an affordable rate, something which Hastie says is typical for quality products made in New Zealand.
“I’ve always had a strong belief in people, like the people that we started with all the way through, whether it’s tea suppliers, biscuit suppliers, it just goes back to that simple recipe of well made New Zealand products—good quality at a reasonable price.”