Pitango’s export strategy is based on strong market research and products that match the tastes of local consumers.
Historically Pitango, the Aucklandbased organic chilled soups manufacturer, has focused on overseas markets with large expat populations, such as Hong Kong. However, Pitango's managing director directo Graeme Laurence, says they are now actively working on o entering the Korean and Japanese markets. “We look at markets which don' don't have a developed fresh soup category. They may have strong powdered or canned soup categories, but once consumers taste fresh chilled soups they switch to the superior products. “Our goal is to have an additional three markets outside of our traditional strong markets in Australia and New Zealand.”
Pitango's export strategy is to first research the local consumer taste profiles, in order to localise its range. It partners with a reliable local distributor with good connections and access to chilled fridge space in the retailer channel. “We need to know there's sound infrastructure to manage a reasonably short shelf-life product,” says Laurence.
Pitango also looks to markets where organic products command a premium.
Laurence says tariffs can be an obstacle in markets such as South Korea – but like most export oriented companies Pitango sees developing and developed countries in Asia as key market opportunities. “With our organic heritage we see some large specialist retailers in the US as good prospects too.”
Laurence says the company, still privately owned, retains a lot of the values that it was founded on. “The organic heritage as very important in our philosophy.” The plan is to continue developing unique products that fit in with changing consumer needs, he says.