The Serious Sweet Company

Pioneers of addictively tempting confections, hand crafted in Harrogate, to liven up the lives of sweet lovers everywhere

Tell us about The Serious Sweet Company
SSC is a UK based manufacturer of “traditional English confectionery” made contemporary through recipe, format and packaging innovation.   Sounds a tall order, but we’ve grown organically and quickly as our customers, principally the UK’s major grocers, have bought in to our proposition of providing sweet treat lovers everywhere with new and fun twists on old favourites.   Our export brand is the appropriately named Ultimate English targeted at those looking for British favourites difficult to get overseas.  We also have a direct to consumer brand, STIRRD for those sweet lovers amongst us who need a monthly sweet fix.
We export to America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as to Northern and Eastern Europe, and even to Japan

Tell us about your export wins
Where we have most success in export is where the end consumer is culturally similar to the UK consumer, so our growth markets are Canada and Australia.  The old favourites, with recipe twists, often do best – fudge, honeycomb, butterscotch and more recently handmade marshmallows have really grown.
We prefer to go direct to retailers.  Being close to them means we have the chance to influence and shape, and get out proposition across more fully.  We also go through distributors where the route to market is more complex or where the end customer prefers it

What are the company’s export ambitions for the future?
We’d like to crack the US market more fully.  But it is geographically huge with complicated supply chains and relationships, and the US consumer is different to the UK consumer, so consumer insight is critical.

What is your main piece of advice for food manufacturers looking to start exporting?
Be really clear what your proposition is, and how it benefits the customer.  Target customers where you feel your proposition will best fit their shopper profile.  Don’t “spray and pray”.  Be clear on the resource, focus and investment exporting needs – it’s not for the faint hearted.  Be ready for a long haul; success doesn’t happen overnight.

What do you value most about FDEA membership?
FDEA is a great community to learn from and share experiences with.  As a member you’ve also access to country specific experts which are helpful when you’re looking to start somewhere new.

How have exhibitions and events helped grow your export business?
They’re a great and inexpensive way to catch up with far flung customers, swap stories with the trade and look around to see what’s new. Every once in a while a good catch is also landed!

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