Become a Brand Partner!

NakiNoku was founded on our personal experience of being a small business manufacturer of thai curry sauces.

We found that consumers, when faced with too many choices, typically went with the "known quantity", usually a well known and resourced brand, or a very niche product (e.g. Keto-friendly). The majority of brands don't get a chance to compete for consumer's grocery dollars.

Sampling is the Solution

We all know that sampling is the solution. The product will sell itself, IF the consumers can taste it. 

Today, the only way to get consumers to buy your product off the shelf, is through packaging design, and this means the deepest pocket wins.

In-person sampling levels the playing field, but it's too hard to scale - it's great for targeting a specific location or farmers market, but not something you can do nationally.

Our solution?

We manufacture sample sizes at low quantities (at no cost* to you, except for the bulk product), and send it direct to consumers!

  • We handle all the inventory and order fulfillment related to samples 
  • You can enable the purchase of sample products on your website (book a consultation for this) as a way to retain consumers that might otherwise navigate away.
  • In addition, you get feedback from real consumers that can help you iterate and improve your products.
  • Finally, we include the design of a webpage dedicated to your brand and founder story, and include inserts in all sample boxes to allow consumers to connect to your brand!

Book a consultation with us and we can get you started with custom manufacturing samples of your food product!

*for a limited time only


Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you manufacture the samples?

As a licensed business in Chicago, we currently operate out of The Hatchery, a food and beverage incubator located in the city. The facility is maintained to the highest standards including recordkeeping requirements. Please contact us if you have any further/more detailed questions.

What about food safety?

Our co-founders have completed industry food safety and processing certification, including the Better Process Control School certification, Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) Certification, and Good Manufacturing Practices Certification.

For all of our manufacturing, where a food is considered acidified food, we obtain processing authority review of our manufacturing/re-packaging process.

Can you work with products prior to retail distribution?

Yes, we can work with you to ensure that we are able to produce a set of samples in a food-safe manner, and we can distribute those samples on your website and ours to ensure that we are able to test or "prime" the market prior to your retail distribution going live. This sampling data can also be used as supporting data for use in your sales effort with retailers and distributors.

What kind of products can you work with?

What kind of products can you work with?

Our key value proposition to the consumer is that we allow consumers to taste a product in an individual serving size that is only sold in multi-serving sizes on the retail shelf.

  • Liquids (Viscous/Non Viscous)

We can work with all liquid or viscous products that can be pumped. This means liquid or viscous products with small size particles. This includes everything from molasses (very viscous), to hot sauce (very liquid). Any liquid including firm particles larger than a fine dice would unfortunately not be able to be pumped. Examples of categories we have worked in : BBQ Sauce, Hot Sauce, Ketchup, Dressings, Seasoning sauces (ethnic sauces such as soy), Nut butters or other breakfast spreads, ingredients such as molasses.

  • Dry

We work with most free flowing dry powders and ingredients from spice mixes up to and including coffee beans/kindey bean sized components. Note that in spice mixes, there are components that will need anti caking agents or alternatives to ensure free flow. For example, granulated brown sugar instead of fine brown sugar. We can also package items which are small clusters such as granola. Examples of categories we have worked in : Spice Mixes, BBQ Rubs, Seasonings, Coffee, Tea, Ingredients such as beans, Granola etc.

What services (labeling, design, etc) do you provide?

For new Brand Partners, we provide labeling and pouch packaging design services at no charge. This includes the initial design and layout of your brand and logo on our sample packaging template. We do this in-house, as this creates consistency across our finished products, which improves the overall consumer experience.

Do you sell my retail product on your website?

Not exactly. Our website is set up to encourage purchase from your brand. This could be in retail channels or online (on your websiteAamazon). We do not sell full retail sizes direct to the consumer.

Occasionally, we launch new offerings that include a d2c retail purchase. 

How do you represent my brand online and in the sample box?

How do you represent my brand online and in the sample box?

Consumers want to know who made their food. They want to know the person behind the brand, not just the company.

To facilitate this, we include your founder and the brand story on our website to help consumers better understand your brand. We also include links to your website and social media so they can dive deeper if they so wish. We also include inserts in every box so that consumers can learn about the founders.

Do I have to provide a coupon code for the final purchase?

No - however, we highly recommend it, to incentivize consumers to purchase directly through you. We believe that this is a small investment against the Lifetime Value of the consumer to your brand.

What kind of data can I get?

We ask consumers for feedback. That feedback will include any comments they provide on your brand, and that will be provided back to you at set intervals (e.g. monthly). We also provide links to your website and social media from our website and any signups that the consumer completes at that time is owned by your brand.

What intangible benefits can you offer?

• Ability to “see” a trial of your finished samples before you place an order

• Ongoing access to design and packaging iterations as your business grows

• Business Development opportunities through NakiNoku’s network of experts in the retail and science space of all things food!

• Mentorship, support and technical expertise on food processing and packaging

Can I offer sampling through my website?

Yes! This is one of the major benefits of working with us. Our research shows that consumers often abandon carts due to the cost of shipping, which can double the total cost of the purchase. We believe one of the most effective ways to capture that customer is to offer a sample box. This allows customers to taste your product without committing to a large multi-serving size of one flavor and is an enticing offer.

When you are ready to offer this on your website, we can work directly with you to implement this on your website. The best part is that all inventory and fulfillment is handled by NakiNoku!

Do you only do sample boxes with other brands included?

Our "sample boxes" come in two varieties, sample boxes that include many brands of one kind of product (e.g. spicy bbq sauces) and sample boxes that include all varieties of one brand's products. All brands have the option of creating their own variety box. However, we will include your brand's products in the traditional sample boxes with multiple brands because we have to offer consumers value.

Food discovery requires us to provide multiple samples together to entice the consumer, however this should not be looked as a winner takes all situation. Every consumer is different. Some will prefer spicier sauces, some will prefer milder sauces. So this is simply a way for you to identify the ideal consumer for your brand, not a competition between brands for a trophy!

This prevents the worst case scenario - a consumer purchasing a specific variety of your sauce, only to find it doesn't match their taste profile (when another of your varieties may have) and that consumer never tries any of your other varieties. You effectively lost that customer for life, and the customer loses out on the opportunity to try an amazing product!

Book a consultation with us!

Trained and certified as an FDA-approved Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), with certifications in both Better Process Control School and Good Manufacturing Practices, Tonny enjoys guiding small food business founders through all the nerdy science behind food processing and what it takes to produce your amazing condiments.