South West food and drink companies look to China for online sales boost

By Anita Jaynes on 19 October, 2020

The Great British Food Programme, an initiative delivered by Business West, is partnering up with Regroup China, a digital marketing agency that specialises in driving Chinese cross-border eCommerce sales, to launch the Great British Food Store. 

The Great British Food Programme aims to connect UK food and drink producers with a host of Chinese buyers and consumers who are keen to buy high-quality British produce.

The Great British Food Store will be launched in November on the social media platform, WeChat, as a specialist mini-program and will give sought-after food and drink producers in the South West of England the opportunity to showcase and sell their products to a user base of 1.2 billion.

According to Tencent, in 2019, WeChat users spent $115 billion through mini-programs, equivalent to £88 billion.

report published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), showed that while exports of food and drink to the UK’s top markets fell in the first half of 2020, value sales increased by 0.3% to China.

James Monk, Director of Commercial Services at Business West said, “In 2019, China was the UK’s sixth-largest export market, so this program is a fantastic opportunity for South West food and drink companies looking to expand their company in a lucrative market.

“Food and drink in the UK and the South West is recognised globally for its high quality and demand for authentic British food products from China has been soaring in recent years.

“I would encourage businesses in the region looking to grow their brand internationally, to get in touch to discuss the opportunity or apply today to be part of the exciting program.”

Lee Hamber, Senior Sales Executive for Somerset-based Lilley’s Cider, added, “Lilley’s see a huge potential in China for our products, including the sheer size of the population. There is also a growing interest in cider as well as English products, so being involved in the program is a great opportunity.

“Business West’s support has been so important as the WeChat program will allow us to tap into large audience of Chinese WeChat users and grow our brand internationally.”

Businesses can apply online by following this link and applications to join the Great British Food Store in China close on 16th November.

To learn more about this opportunity and to meet the team behind the store, interested businesses are encouraged to join a free webinar taking place on 11th November.

More information can be found here

Pictured above: Lilley’s cider in Shanghai