A family-owned business based in Brunswick, Royal Nut Company is dedicated to sourcing, manufacturing, and supplying the highest quality nuts, nut spreads, dried fruit, legumes and grains, health foods, confectionery, snack foods, and spices.
Managing Director Sanjay Mirchandani is a seasoned manufacturing and distribution general manager across multiple industries, countries, and languages. After developing his early professional career with BHP, he joined his father’s business five years ago and is now steering it to become a market leader. It is an exciting time for Royal Nut Company, with a new state-of-the-art facility opening next year that promises to catapult the business to the next level. Mr Mirchandani spoke with us recently about the beginnings of the company, the dedication to premium products that differentiates it from competitors, and the exciting new manufacturing and retail developments that make Royal Nut Company one to keep an eye on in 2024.
“The Royal Nut Company was founded in 1987,” Mr Mirchandani explains, “in the foodie hub of Brunswick, located in Melbourne. Back in the 80s there was a strong Middle Eastern influence, a very open market vibe. Originally, it was a small warehouse supplying exotic nuts, legumes, and grains to small local businesses. There was also a direct-to-public store at the front of the factory.”
Nearly 20 years after Mr Mirchandani’s father purchased the business, family-owned and operated Royal Nut Company is now making a significant investment to combine its two manufacturing and distribution sites into one state-of-the-art facility, located in the premier food manufacturing hub of Scoresby in Melbourne.
“This purpose-built facility is 9000 m2 in size, and that more than doubles our existing footprint. The facility design was led by industry experts, and it’s very meticulous in the way that it’s designed. It uses stringent food safety standards and lean manufacturing practices, and it’s all tailored to the Royal Nut Company value proposition.”
These significant upgrades to the company’s manufacturing and warehousing equipment, due for completion in 2024, will help it supply customers more efficiently, with the right product, on time, with fewer issues. A strong presence will remain in Brunswick, with the famous Royal gold building serving businesses and end consumers alike.
“From our humble beginnings, the business has come a long way. Last year we sold over 3,500 SKUs, and we have approximately 90 staff across our two manufacturing and distribution sites. We supply to major and independent retailers, including Coles, Woolworths, as well as other manufacturers whose final products end up on retail shelves.”
The company also supplies top restaurants, cafes and everything in between, including multiple customers within the Queen Victoria and South Melbourne Markets, as well as businesses across Australia and overseas.
“We’ve expanded and modernised our retail stores across Melbourne, so we now have multiple stores. We also have an e-commerce store, which grew significantly through the covid pandemic. We have a similar application that we’re about to launch for our B2B customers, where they’ll be able to order in a similar e-commerce style.”
The company is best known for its premium grade, freshly roasted and flavoured nuts, which are prepared onsite every day. It also sells freshly roasted, ground and pasted nut butters, trail mixes and spice blends, and an expansive range to make up your own muesli or granola blend, coffee blend, cakes, or baked goods.
“It’s the place to come if you want to make an ideal picnic, entertain and surprise your guests or loved ones with a diverse range of snacks that perhaps you wouldn’t have seen before. You’d be pretty hard pressed not to find the nut you’re looking for at Royal Nut Company.”
The company will also be increasing the size and product range of its Malvern retail store in early 2024. All of these exciting changes will produce significant capacity for the company to grow and more efficiently supply existing and new customers. It will also be looking to acquire new capability in the food manufacturing space.
There are many different varieties and grades in the dried goods space, particularly when it comes to nuts. Many of the products sold in supermarkets are typically inferior, are not fresh or whole, which is usually telling of the overall quality.
“What we specialise and focus on is really the premium products across all these categories. It’s the grade, the size of the nut, the limited imperfections, the way we package it – we take the majority of the air out of the packaging to keep it fresh. What also differentiates us from our competitors is the roasting and flavouring techniques.”
The company uses multiple methods of roasting and flavouring, which have been honed and improved over decades. The Royal Nut Company retail stores offer smaller packs and accessibility direct to consumer, which sets it apart in the market.
“Finally, our passion and knowledge that we share with our customers [is a differentiator], both in our office, for our B2B customers, but also in our retail stores. You can really come in and have a chat about what it is you’re trying to do, what’s the best product, what’s the best value for money, and how to use it all.”
The food space in Australia is ever-evolving, one current trend is the growth of health consciousness, which has become a big focus in such an active nation. This has seen a rise in claims that products are vegan, organic, kosher, or include natural flavours and colours, which can often be difficult for consumers to verify.
“It’s very important to be transparent and clear about what you’re claiming,” Mr Mirchandani says, “and that’s something that is difficult for food suppliers to manage, but very important to get right nonetheless.”
Another current trend is the competitiveness of the Australian manufacturing sector in comparison to overseas, with the reliability of supply, quality, and cost of production in Australia offering excellent value, especially post-pandemic.
“Royal Nut Company has really shown a lot of resilience through the pandemic, particularly with the economic downturns that we’re experiencing at the moment. The company has learnt and adapted quite quickly in the face of adversity, and we’ve really stayed true to our loyal customer base.”
With almost 30 years of experience in the industry, food lovers and businesses alike looking for high quality products are invited to reach out to Mr Mirchandani and the passionate team at the Royal Nut Company. Find out more about the Royal Nut Company by visiting www.royalnutcompany.com.au.