Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Export or leave money on the table

From Austrade research, we know that only relatively few Australian companies export and yet many more could.

It's like having a whole lot of customers within easy reach and never turning to help them get the benefits of having your products. This is like leaving money on the table or just being commercially naive.

Here at home in Australia, our products can often be one of many while off-shore they become rare and unusual, particularly with the marketing twist of incorporating authentic Australian flavours. Contact me at Cherikoff Rare Spices for this service as we specialise in taking pedestrian products off the (supposedly) level playing field and pushing them into innovative, unique and distinctive product categories where media interest and exposure often comes for free.

Think of us as the means to remove yourself from competing with others in your existing catogory and adding such a novel twist that your new market sees you as totally unique and highly desirable.

Business development managers in some companies which could export, probably think that the risk of losing money; the cost of learning about the market; or understanding supply chains is too high.

However, for many companies, this is just not the case.

Contracts of supply can be negotiated as prepayment in part or in full, before goods are shipped. The internet and networking (in addition to all Austrade's services) can provide market intelligence. And distribution is the easiest - just ask your ultimate customer for referrals to good distributors, wholesalers, brokers and agents. All you need is a vehicle to get you there and we have just the thing.

In fact, with a little effort, many companies could turn the research recommended on export markets into a low cost process or at worst, a model of policy, process and procedures which can be rolled out into markets which share some similarity to one another.

When it comes to food service and some retail products, Dining Downunder** Chefs, Vic Cherikoff and Benjamin Christie have helped many Australian and an increasing number of New Zealand companies to build their brands and make sales.


You have your own food professionals who take your products overseas; introduce them to a large food service user; find a distributor recommended by local chefs; arrange a chefs' table of your potential clients and then they prepare, present and endorse your products at a hosted function. And all this for next to no cost.

How good is that?

In 2005, we continue on our global pilgrimage promoting Australia, Australian cuisine and a host of companies which enjoy the results of the support and exposure we generate. And we'd love to have more Australian companies along.

Unfortunately, not many marketers really know or understand what strategic, associative marketing is nor how to profit from its powerful results: From Australian Cuisine Promotions last year in the Czech Republic, Thailand, USA and Germany, Dining Downunder generated tens of thousands in export sales for the Australian and New Zealand food & wine companies involved. Read Austrade’s Trademark article on the continuing export success of Dining Downunder.

Australian Cuisine Promotions for 2005 have already been arranged in Guam, Moscow, Nagoya, Phuket, Bangkok and others are currently being negotiated and scheduled for Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, The UK, China, Malaysia and Singapore. Some additional target markets include Slovakia, Poland, Indonesia, Spain and Ireland.

We look to emerging markets, often where Austrade has active representatives and are holding trade shows or other events with Australian companies. We leverage this activity and make an impact with our unique food presentations and then add serious value by working with hotel marketing departments as well as food distributors on the value of well promoted and distinctive food offerings.

Our primary focus is to complete the supply chain, from exporting company, showcase event, interested and supportive distributor to end user and then follow up in that market with a second visit within 6 months to maintain the energy. By way of example, our promotion in Prague last year found an Australian distributor who's activity was backed up by a presentation of products to 48 local chefs with the result that several products, including Australian lamb and some specialised foodstuffs have increased sales into the Czech market.

Dining Downunder chefs can add value to a restaurant or venue in numerous ways:

· Enhancing business functions, meetings or conferences providing an uniquely Australian feel with our authentic foods and the wines we endorse
· Live Cooking Shows at International Trade Shows and events promoting the best of Australian food, wine and culinary tourism
· Need strong media coverage for your activities? Dining Downunder seems to attract it like a magnet simply due to the unique approach of promoting indigenous foods

For more information view the Australian Cuisine Promotions brochure and please make contact for collaboration, joint ventures or promotional endorsements.

Current opportunities:

Guam in April
Moscow, Brussels and Amsterdam in May
Nagoya in July
Phuket in August
Bangkok in December

And more to come ...

** Dining Downunder(TM) is an Australian cooking show focussing on an authentic Australian cuisine using native Australian ingredients and which screened in 32 countries in 2004 and will continue its global spread into Europe and North America in 2005.