The memory of eagerly unwrapping a White Rabbit candy and munching on the edible rice paper before popping the sweet into our mouths is likely one that most of us can relate to. A precious part of our childhood, White Rabbit candies were always a welcome treat.

To your delight, you’ve also likely recently noticed an increased presence of White Rabbit products around — such as the wider variety of candy flavours and ice cream bars in the freezer at the grocer, or you’re spotting it at your favourite bakeries around town.

You’ll have Lydia Kuan to thank for this. As Director of Hao Food SG, the exclusive importer of White Rabbit ice cream in Singapore, Lydia has worked with White Rabbit to bring us new food items and collaborations. So far, we’ve had White Rabbit ice cream cruffins, White Rabbit affogato, plushies, tote bags and more. And Hao Food SG is only getting started!

We catch up with Lydia to hear her passion for White Rabbit, the inspiration behind White Rabbit products, and what we can expect from them next.

Tell us about yourself, such as how you came to be the director of Hao Food SG.

Before Hao Food, I was an author and media personality in Taiwan, and I wrote a travel book titled ‘Go Busan’ that was released in major bookstores in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. My book, written in a lighthearted way, was an easy guide for people travelling to or interested in travelling to Korea. It was all about being gung-ho and brave about trying new things while integrating with locals of the country and their culture.

That’s something that I’d like to think I bring to the table as well with Hao Food SG, and with the White Rabbit brand — to take something people know so well and put a fresh and fun twist on it.

As for how I joined Hao Food SG, I’ve known the Hao Food SG founder, Dave Fu, for a long time, and we previously worked on other projects. We had discussions about bringing back this well-loved nostalgic brand — the White Rabbit creamy candy — and putting a spin on it.

Why is White Rabbit so special to you?

Having grown up in Singapore, the White Rabbit candy was a core part of my childhood. I recall running to the mama shop after school to get it as a snack — or even being ‘bribed’ with White Rabbit candies by my aunties so I would behave well!

I believe many other people who grew up in Singapore in the pre-2000s also have similar fond memories of the White Rabbit candy.

That’s sort of the feeling we want to create now — to evoke warm and familiar memories and nostalgia with those who grew up with the White Rabbit brand, and to reach out to a new generation of candy lovers to bring them that magical feeling.

It’s sort of like passing down a torch. At many of our recent events and pop-ups, like our collaboration with Keong Saik Bakery, we saw lots of parents — who likely grew up with White Rabbit like I did — bringing their kids to try our White Rabbit ice cream. They bonded and created new memories over the White Rabbit ice cream and candy! Hence, the intangible connection to White Rabbit, like these moments, is what makes it really special to me.

What are the inspirations behind new White Rabbit candy flavours, and the collaborations with well-known local brands?

There’s still a very strong love and affinity for White Rabbit amongst Singaporeans even today. It’s a very nostalgic brand, it evokes a lot of warm, positive feelings of halcyon days. And that’s something we still want to keep, even now.

What we want to do is update the brand and introduce it to a new generation of Singaporeans, while also maintaining that connection with its long-time fans.

We’ve done this by remixing the classic candy, such as creating stick ice cream and our uber-popular ice cream cup, both of which retain the familiar creamy texture and flavour of the original candy.

Some of the other new flavours of the White Rabbit candy we have include red bean, mustard, coffee, prune and yoghurt. One of my favourite new products is a specially crafted candy tin that doubles up as a tissue box!

For collaborations with places like Chin Mee Chin and Keong Saik Bakery, we wanted to create experiences. These are beloved brands that people are familiar with — much like White Rabbit; I wanted to present White Rabbit in a fresh and fun way.

So with the Chin Mee Chin collab, we served up ice cream alongside classic eggs and toast, along with a fun range of retro toppings for the ice cream, like rainbow sprinkles and gem biscuits.

At Keong Saik Bakery, we created an affogato and a cruffin with our ice cream, which people really loved as well. For me, it’s about turning the classic candy flavour into new and modern iterations to continue to delight.

What role does Hao Food play in developing White Rabbit products and merchandise?

We work very closely with White Rabbit headquarters and the parent company, providing feedback on what Singaporean customers love, like our ice cream cups. We’ve also been working closely with them to experiment with creating a Halal version of the candy!

What’s your personal favourite White Rabbit product?

I love the White Rabbit memory foam pillow! It’s not only adorable as a gigantic candy but extremely comfortable and huggable. This is our best-selling product so I guess many people love it as much as I do.

What are some local White Rabbit collaborations we can look forward to in 2023?

For Chinese New Year, we worked with local brand Chang Ho Sek and created White Rabbit mahjong cookies and Keong Saik Bakery for a Valentine’s Day collaboration.

Currently, we’re looking to create new products in time for Easter! We also have a few more exciting collabs we have to keep under wraps for now — but I will say that we are working with several other homegrown F&B players, like a really popular bar and an awesome pizza joint.

Any new White Rabbit flavours or products hitting the shelves soon?

Yes! We are looking at bringing in more new White Rabbit-themed goodies and other exciting variants of the candy and ice cream — fans can stay tuned to our Instagram page, @haofoodsg, for the latest updates.

Text: Natalie-Elizabeth Tan/Her World