The export journey of Twistees


Twistees, hailed as one of Malta’s most iconic branded snacks for over 50 years, is now being exported to 17 countries across the globe in the Middle East, Europe, Australia and North America.

The brand was created in 1969 by the late Ray Calleja, the former chairperson at Strand Palace Agencies Ltd who was also known as the “founder of Twistees”. In just one year after Twistees was created, the company saw substantial growth in the local market thanks to the success of its main product which gradually became a part of Maltese culture and a staple item in every Maltese kitchen cupboard.

Twistees became renowned as a unique product as it was one of the first snacks of its kind to be baked rather than fried. This followed Strand Palace Agencies Ltd’s tradition and commitment to producing healthy yet tasty snacks which adhered to local and EU standards. This feature enhanced the brand’s popularity in the local market and enticed the company to start looking into exporting Twistees to international markets.  The Export Department at Strand Palace Agencies Ltd was established in 2015 and the team embarked on the relevant market research in order to familiarise itself with the trends of various international markets and to understand where to place itself vis-à-vis the competition.

The Export Department team enrolled in TradeMalta’s Go Global training course which helped improve their skills and knowledge in international business and inspired them to think strategically when targeting overseas markets.

In 2015, for the first time, Strand Palace Agencies Ltd exhibited in international trade fairs with the support of TradeMalta. Today the company is a regular exhibitor at the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM) in Cologne, Germany, Gulfood Fair in Dubai, Snackex in Spain, the World Travel Catering in Germany and The Snack Show in the UK.  The presence at international fairs caught the attention of several reputable clients who took Tastees − the trade name which is used internationally − on board.

Tastees is particularly popular in the Middle East where it is sold in a variety of flavours. Additional exposure of Tastees on social media has brought further success to this iconic Maltese snack in international markets.

In order to meet increased demand for exports, Strand Palace Agencies Ltd success­fully upgraded and expanded its manufacturing plant in Malta in 2017.

Looking forward, Strand Palace Agencies Ltd will further explore innovative marketing strategies to adapt to the latest trends in international markets, both in terms of taste and current trends, and hence increase interest in the product overseas.

Each individual market has its own requirements in terms of flavours, packaging design and colour and legislation, which confirm the importance of market research and analysis for the company’s export journey.

The company has already embraced and implemented diversification of its product with the introduction and manufacturing of Tastees with various flavours, in a bid to reach out to new customers in different regions worldwide.

For more information on Twistees, visit

For export-related assistance, visit

Tags: Export | Food manufacturing |