The man who helped The Ice Company be crowned The Grocer’s Exporter of the Year has set up an agency assisting businesses find markets overseas.

Paul Doughty this month left his role as MD of the Yorkshire-based ice supplier and has established Purple Cow FMCG to help UK manufacturers sell their products abroad, and overseas suppliers bring products to British stores.

The move comes just over six months after The Ice Co was named Exporter of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards. Judges had heard how the business had grown its exports of products such as cubes, crushed ice, and premium spring water ice cubes by 50% year on year and supplied countries including the Netherlands and Denmark.

“Winning the award has been a big part of making the decision to start my own agency,” said Doughty. “I thought, if you can sell frozen water to the Danes then you can do pretty much anything.”

The name of his business was inspired by Seth Godin’s business marketing book Purple Cow, which suggests a product needs something to make it noticeable - as a purple cow would be in a field of brown cows.

“I believe that at The Ice Co we found purple cows, and that’s the sort of businesses and products I am hoping to work with,” said Doughty, who added he had developed a knowledge of overseas retailers and business that would help him develop routes to market for clients. 

“Purple Cow will not be a distributor or an import/export business but effectively be a third-party sales team that can be more cost-effective than having an in-house sales force,” he added.

Prior to joining The Ice Co, Doughty held positions including MD of the Kara Bakery in Manchester and sales director for Douwe Egberts.