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Showcase Leads to Export Orders in China

16 August 2006

KIWI branded showcase leads to EXPORT ORDERS in China

The first Kiwi-branded retail promotion of food and beverages in China is delivering results for New Zealand companies, less than three months after the project was launched.

Auckland-based DB Breweries has recently shipped half a container of its Monteith and Tui beers to Shanghai, to meet orders secured as a direct result of the company’s participation in a ‘New Zealand’s Finest Choice’ showcase at two upmarket Parkson’s retail stores in Shanghai.

Organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the promotion is a key element of its China Retail Channel Development Project, which aims to assist New Zealand companies enter the Chinese market and trial their products in a retail environment before committing to a major export drive.

“We would not even have been looking at tackling the China market if it were not for NZTE’s promotion,” says DB Business Development Manager, Andrew Daniells.

“The success we are enjoying from taking part in the showcase has effectively jumped China up the queue in our list of priority markets.”

The project is a collaboration between NZTE, Parkson, New Zealand food and beverage companies and Heng Tai, a China-based logistics service provider and distributor. Since the promotion was launched at the end of May, Heng Tai has been supplying one bar in Shanghai and one bar in Wu Lu Mu Qi with DB beers and demand is growing from other outlets, prompting Heng Tai to order 600 cases from the Auckland business.

Leone Evans, NZTE Sector Director Food and Beverage, says the DB order confirms that the model being used to create long-term business for Kiwi exporters in China is working.

“Putting product in two high-end retail stores was always seen as a springboard to generate demand in other sectors. It’s really the flow-on effects of the distribution, brand-building and promotional activities that will deliver the net economic benefit we are after and for that to be happening so early in the project is very heartening.”

Mr Daniells says DB joined the project to “dip our toe in the market” without incurring big market research costs and sharing the risk with other New Zealand exporters.

“Demand for our beer is coming mainly from the expatriate community in Shanghai, not just New Zealanders and Australians but also other nationalities with disposable income to buy imported beers.”

Heng Tai will also exhibit DB’s beer on its stand at the Food Hotel China trade show in late November sparking a decision by DB to make its first market visit to China.

“These sales and the chance to take part in a key in-market expo mean we can now justify going up to China to investigate potential business opportunities. Having our product at Food Hotel China is a real plus because the show attracts many second tier distributors who will be exposed to our beer.”

Combining forces and taking a ‘NZ Inc’ approach is the best way for New Zealand food and beverage exporters to make an impact in China says Rod MacKenzie, NZTE Group General Manager North Asia.

“China has a growing number of young to middle-aged middle class consumers who want to buy top quality and innovative imported foods that are healthy, safe and convenient. New Zealand food and beverage exporters are well placed to supply what is wanted but it can be risky and challenging for companies to do it on their own.”

NZTE is considering rolling out the promotion to other stores in China.


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