Sir: I was pleased to read about Ella’s Kitchen’s sales surge in international markets (‘Ella’s Kitchen’s global clout boosted by deal with Australia’s Coles’, 23 March). The UK food and drink industry’s continuing success in exporting comes frequently from premium branded lines with a clear point of difference.
International retailers, like their UK counterparts, compete tooth and nail on everyday lines with promotions, price cuts and bogofs, so they need products that are not price-sensitive to give them a point of difference and gain a bit more margin from their cost-conscious customers. Imported products can do just that.
The UK has a reputation for top-quality branded items that appeal to consumers who want to buy something different, perhaps for a special occasion or to impress as a gift. We also have a reputation for the high standards of our processing industry, maintained by the ever-increasing demands of our retailers and industry benchmarks such as BRC accreditation. In markets like China, where consumers have lost confidence in their own producers because of the raft of food scares, UK brands are purchased with confidence by an increasingly knowledgeable and demanding consumer.
The Food & Drink Exporters Association is running workshops on India and Brazil in London on 9 April. Full details from: www.ukfdea.com
John S Whitehead, director, Food & Drink Exporters Association