Last week, we headed down to London to attend the International Food & Drink Event (IFE), and what a three days it was! 25,000 food and drink professionals came together to share expertise, make long-lasting business connections, and sample the newest products on the market. The event also included insightful panel discussions from experts in individual fields, including our very own Head of Buying, Matt, who joined the ‘Getting Out of the Blocks in Exporting’ discussion! With over 18 years in the FMCG industry, Matt was perfectly placed to provide key insight and advice to the audience.
If you didn’t get the chance to make it to IFE, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s three nuggets of wisdom from Matt on what you need to do to successfully enter the exporting industry…
Learn everything you can about the industry
First things first, it is vital that you understand the industry inside out. This includes identifying key markets, keeping up with the latest trends and news, and understanding the needs of your customers. It goes without saying that the more you know about the industry, the easier it will be to build trust with customers and successfully sell your produce overseas. As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
Take time to understand the markets you wish to enter, including territory regulation rules.
The key to a successful food and drink exporting business is understanding each market you intend to enter. Each territory with undoubtedly have different regulations upon entry, with no country or continent being the same. There will be barriers that you face in terms of documentation, which is why you must do your research and be prepared for rules that you will have to comply with.
Decide if you want to go it alone or have a business partner
Beginning your career in exporting can bring about tough decisions that require a lot of thought and planning. One of these is decisions is whether you want to start your business alone or with a partner. Whilst going it alone brings more freedom to make business choices at free reign, this is not always a good thing and in some ways, having a business partner takes the pressure off, providing support for those big business moves. It is important to consider both options and understand completely how much responsibility is required when beginning a business in exporting.
As always, IFE proved to be a must-attend event for anyone in the food and drink industry. Networking, learning, and discovering new products were just a few things that took up our days, with the latter being particularly interesting. We’re cautious about picking favourite but we must say, Puckpip’s frozen banana was a stand-out for us and we can’t wait to see where and when this lands in supermarkets. Finally, thank you to IFE for having us – we can’t wait for next year already!