Royal ex­po­sure

Exporter - - EDITOR’S LETTER -

I re­mem­ber as a kid see­ing pho­tos of ships be­ing loaded with ex­port goods at ports around New Zealand. There were no container ships back then, and those ex­ports were mostly bulk com­modi­ties – meat, dairy, wool, and so on. No sign of the high-value, pre­mium fin­ished food and bev­er­age prod­ucts that make up an in­creas­ing per­cent­age of our ex­ports to­day.

Times have changed. New Zealand has slowly mor­phed into an ex­cel­lent pro­ducer of value added food and bev­er­ages – and that’s where the greater prof­its lie as there are gen­er­ally slim mar­gins as­so­ci­ated with high vol­ume com­modi­ties.

This month’s fo­cus on the food and bev­er­age ex­port sec­tor is by no means com­pre­hen­sive – we could never print enough pages to fully cover such a dy­namic in­dus­try. But it did re­mind us of some of the key fac­tors in our F&B ex­port suc­cess – value-added prod­ucts be­ing one of them; the im­por­tance of new tech­nolo­gies in en­sur­ing safety and au­then­tic­ity be­ing an­other.

In­ter­est­ingly, as I was pre­par­ing the story, I found my­self in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with a young Amer­i­can PR pro­fes­sional based in New York.

I won­dered if this young Amer­i­can, Randi, who has never been to these shores, was aware of any New Zealand food or bev­er­age brands avail­able in the US. Much to my sur­prise, she couldn’t name any, al­though she did re­call see­ing var­i­ous New Zealand wines on some shelves.

Randi un­der­stands how daunt­ing the US mar­ket must be for Kiwi ex­porters. Brands must con­stantly up­date and rein­vent them­selves to stay rel­e­vant and grab the at­ten­tion of con­sumers, she says. Com­pe­ti­tion is fierce.

But she did have pos­i­tive im­pres­sions of New Zealand gained through the Peter Jack­son movies filmed here and pho­tos posted on so­cial me­dia site Pin­ter­est. And, in early April, the New Zealand tour by the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge was get­ting healthy cov­er­age in US me­dia.

So talk of the royal tour pro­vid­ing valu­able ex­po­sure for this coun­try in off­shore mar­kets is in­deed ac­cu­rate. We just have to or­gan­ise some ma­jor F&B brand as­so­ci­a­tion for the next visit! Glenn H. Baker edi­tor@ex­porter­

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.