Actiph Water is Europe’s leading alkaline, ionised water, founded by 7-time Guinness World Record holder and ultra-endurance athlete, Jamie Douglas-Hamilton.
Founded in the UK in 2017, Actiph has since been exported to over a dozen countries, including the USA, UAE and China, with strong growth across a number of markets and plans for rapid expansion in key territories.
Where have you had recent export success?…..
The Middle East continues to be a major export opportunity for Actiph with notable demand for premium bottled water and, specifically, alkaline water. This has translated to strong sales in those early-adopter territories which, combined with the aforementioned growth in consumer demand, has subsequently piqued the interest of several distributors and retailers across Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and more, who are now seeking out Actiph Water in greater numbers and with growing fervour.
As we seek to capitalise on this opportunity and raise the brand’s profile across the region, we are giving ever greater time and attention to our regional marketing plans. Until recently, our active promotion in these countries was relatively passive and predominantly activated through retailers and distributors on our behalf. Moving forward, we plan to be much more hands on and proactive as we seek to 1) grow our digital footprint and raise brand awareness through hyper targeted paid social campaigns and digital partnerships, and 2) introduce more people to the brand/products and cultivate meaningful relationships with consumers through on the ground sampling and local events.
What are the company’s export ambitions for the future?…..
The US represents a major opportunity in our sector due to size of the market and the widespread consumption and understanding of alkaline water amongst US consumers. This was, in the early days of Actiph, the antithesis of our experience in the UK. As the first to market in Britain, consumer awareness and understanding of alkaline water was largely non-existent and therefore our challenge as a brand was to educate consumers rather than, say, gain competitive advantage over others in the space. In the US, no such education challenge exists, however, there are many established brands in the sector, meaning our focus shifts to competitive advantage in that region.
What is your main piece of advice for food manufacturers looking to start exporting?…..
Understanding which territories represent the best opportunities in terms of initial traction, potential for growth and ability to service the region in as simple and cost-effective way as possible have been integral to our thinking. Opportunities may present themselves in a multitude of places but knowing which are most valuable and realistic for your business and the stage you are at will help avoid stretching time and resources too far as you try to seize every opportunity, regardless of their viability. The rising costs of shipping have made this increasingly important to ensure you’re not entering a market that you cannot hope to service profitably.
How have exhibitions and events helped grow your export business if at all?…..
The ability to speak face to face with potential partners and allow them and the wider consumer to try our products for themselves has been vital. The relationships that stem from these invariably start on a surer footing and a sampling opportunity for a consumer is always going to be more powerful than most advertising channels.