We catch up with FDEA Member Whitworths to find out about their export aspirations for the coming year.
Tell us about Whitworths….
Whitworths is a household name in the UK and is proud to be the UK’s leading supplier of dried fruit, nut and seeds offering best in class products. Established in 1886, it has a long-standing heritage of quality and trust. Offering our consumers, a wide range to choose from, whether that be for snacking, topping on breakfast or scratch cooking, our mission is to help everyone eat a little healthier every day.
Where does Whitworths currently export?
Currently we have a presence in China, Middle East, Australia, and Europe. We have also recently started leveraging the travel retail channel too, showcasing our range of on-the-go snacks in the major UK airports.
Where have you seen export growth in recent months?
We have been actively looking to increase our international footprint working with reputable consolidators as well as local in market partners. This year we have launched in the UAE, Israel and sent our first products out to Australia too.
In China we are focusing on the huge cross border e-commerce channel that offers significant opportunity for imported healthy snacking brands like ours. We are aiming for 2023 to be a strong year for us in this market and channel.
Which products are doing particularly well?
Our SHOTS range of healthy, tasty, under 100 calories, grab and go snacks are our hero export product. They offer a clear differentiation to what is out there in the market – the unique 25% indulgence really hits the spot with so many global consumers looking to eat a little healthier every day.
Alongside the SHOTS range, we also find the Sunny range for kids to be particularly appealing for many global territories.
Our Protein by Nature range offers ambient pre-cooked grains and is a new addition to our wide product portfolio with strong export potential, especially given its long shelf life.
Tell us about your export strategy….
As a well-established company, it is important that we take our time to understand and select the right route to market in each of the new territories we proactively wish to enter. Whilst we remain opportunistic, we find that having a clear export strategy and plan has allowed us to focus our time and resources on those markets or opportunities that we believe are the best for the business. This has resulted in some great wins in new markets recently and we are looking to build on this into 2023 and beyond
What are the company’s export ambitions for the future?
We are looking to develop the current business we have further as well as enter a small targeted number of new markets. China via e-commerce remains a key target for 2023.
What is your main piece of advice for food manufacturers looking to start exporting?
Have a plan and stick to it when it comes to exporting. It is very easy to get side tracked or try to take on too much. Validate the opportunities and focus on those most likely to give your company the best aligned return on investment in the longer term.
What do you value most about FDEA membership?
The community and idea sharing.