Not-for-profit company, Business West, has launched an ecommerce solution that enables food and drink companies in the South West of England to tap into the Chinese market.
The Great British Food Store will act as an incubator to enable local UK food and drink start-ups to connect and sell their produce in China via WeChat. It aims to operate as a cross-border international sales solution, enabling opportunities for B2C sales and export to China with minimum fuss.
To launch the store, Business West teamed up with Regroup China, a digital marketing agency which specialises in Chinese cross-border ecommerce sales, and logistics company Elander, which will help get the start-ups’ products safely into China.
The store will be launched next month in China on the social media platform, WeChat, giving food and drink producers in the South West of England the opportunity to showcase and sell their products to an alleged user base of 1.2 billion.
The launch comes as a report published by the Food and Drink Federation showed that while exports of food and drink to the UK’s top markets fell in the first half of 2020, value sales increased by 0.3% to China. Meanwhile, the BBC this week reported that China has recorded strong growth in trade, despite other major economies still struggling with the impact of coronavirus.
Lee Hamber, senior sales executive at Lilley’s Cider based in Somerset, has signed up to the WeChat opportunity. He said: “Lilley’s see a huge potential in China for our products, including the sheer size of the population. There is also a growing interest in cider as well as English products, so being involved in the programme is a great opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Paul Rostand, founder of Great British Biscotti based in Dorset, said: “China has been a target market for us since founding the brand because of the vast potential in both retail and food service. By taking part in the WeChat programme, we hope to get the awareness and brand exposure to help us grow our exports in the Chinese market.”
James Monk, director of commercial services at Business West, added: “In 2019, China was the UK’s sixth largest export market, so this programme is a fantastic opportunity for South West food and drink companies looking to expand their company in a lucrative market.
“Food and drink in the UK and the South West are recognised globally for its high quality, and demand for authentic British food products from China has been soaring in recent years.”
Businesses can apply on the Business West website, with applications to join the Great British Food Store in China to close on 16th November.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019