A world of flavours
Krio Krush is an Australian-owned and family-operated company with years of experience in the food industry. They develop, manufacture and supply premium food ingredients and “savoury seasonings” to customers all across the country.
“We’ve been around for over 20 years, and we understand customer requirements,” says Lee Alston, Managing Director of the company. “We provide a professional and total service experience, from concept to market.”
Krio was established by Anthony Alston – Lee’s father – in 1987. Lee himself grew up in the company, having joined up officially straight out of school. He began his career doing general factory work, then moved on to sales, and then served as General Manager before taking over as Managing Director. Because of his career path, he knows every aspect of the business “from the ground up.”
Today, Krio products are available through all major food distributors nationally. The company is based in Kingsgrove, Sydney, and their manufacturing plant occupies a 3000 square metre purpose-built site.
Krio’s customer base is comprised of “anyone in the food industry,” Lee says. That includes commercial kitchens, manufacturers of bulk food, as well as retail outlets like delis and fruit shops. Geographically, the company’s largest presence is in Sydney – but they also ship and supply nationally, and even do a little of exporting as well.
No matter who they are selling to, however, Krio stands above and beyond due their reputation. Over the years, Lee says they have built a lasting brand for themselves. He says they have always wanted to be known as more than a simple supplier of herbs and spices. They want to be known as a “food solutions provider.”
“We engage the customer and help them with whatever they are trying to achieve,” Lee explains. “We’re very personable, and very flexible compared to a multinational operation. We’re not faceless. We like to use technology to improve efficiency and quality, but we still do business the old-fashioned way –face-to-face, and with a handshake.”
As a result of their personable approach, Krio has formed many longstanding customer relationships – with some dating back to the company’s inception. And since they rarely advertise, all of the new business they achieve comes from positive word-of-mouth and recommendations. That’s how they like it.
“All our customers want to work with us and we want to work with them,” Lee says. “We don’t service anyone we don’t want to, and we have really good relationships with everyone we do service.”
Internally, Krio’s relationships are just as positive. Their team is roughly 35 people strong, and the majority of the staff has been with the company for upwards of five, 10 or even 20 years.
“We’re family-owned, and we treat our staff like family,” Lee says. “We want everyone here to love what they do, and take pride in it.”
Krio also has strong relationships with their suppliers, both locally and overseas. Many of those relationships, Lee says, have lasted years. Some have even lasted decades, and were originally formed by Lee’s father Anthony.
“We value our suppliers very highly,” he explains. “Without them, we don’t have any stock to sell. So we make sure they are paid on time, and we make sure to communicate openly. We need them to understand our needs, and we need to understand theirs.”
Suppliers are particularly important to Krio’s business, Lee adds, because the company’s superior sourcing is something that sets it apart in the marketplace. All of their ingredients are purchased from the best growers and processors in Europe, and are carefully selected to meet strict quality requirements. That’s the way it’s been since the company was founded, and Lee says that’s the way it will always be.
Setting the trend
Krio is also set apart in the food industry by their active focus on product development. Their in-house chefs are experienced and knowledgeable, and they regularly consult and communicate with their end users in order to understand their needs. From there, they source inspiration from all over the world to create products that meet those needs. Successful products to date have included seasonings with Egyptian, Hungarian, Mediterranean and American Texan influences.
“I think that’s key to our success,” Lee says. “We’re always looking at new ideas and thinking of new products. It keeps us ahead of the game and makes us different.”
Currently, Krio is creating an on-site “development kitchen” on their premises in Kingsgrove. They will use that unique facility to “present, create, cook, and innovate new products,” and then highlight them and showcase them for their clients.
Lee says that kitchen facility will be keeping in line with the company’s commitment to bringing innovation to the market. It will also help them in their pursuit of new, creative flavours that will both surprise and satisfy customers.
“We don’t do any ‘me-too’ type products,” Lee says. “A lot of our competitors copy our products, and I believe that says a lot about us being a leader. We’re not following the trends, we’re setting the trends.”
Moving forward, Lee says that is what Krio will continue to do – set the trends. That will mean continuing to innovate, and continuing to meet the needs of their employees, suppliers and customers.
“We want to be number one in our category,” Lee concludes. “And to get there, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing, and keep forming strong relationships.”
For more information, please visit their website at: Krio Krush
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