Yorkshire confectionery distributor Creme d’Or is going for growth after successfully targeting overseas trade in both the Middle East and the Far East.
Based in Tickton, near Beverley, the company has witnessed sales from exporting soar by nine per cent of its total turnover in 2017 after the business began trading with Dubai and Shanghai over the past two years.
The company has worked with advisers dedicated to Yorkshire and the Humber businesses at the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to expand East.
The company hired a permanent staff member dedicated to exporting in 2015, and is now recruiting two additional staff from the local area to manage increased overseas demand.
Creme d’Or was established in 1991 to specialise in the import and distribution of continental confectionery and fine food. It has since become one of the largest suppliers of wholesale premium chocolate to a host of major independent retailers around the world.
Chocolate is one of the UK’s most successful food exports. The total value of UK chocolate exports to Asia (YTD September, 2017) was over £18.2m whilst chocolate exports to the UAE during the same period equalled £11.886m.
Head of Export, Laura Gunderson, said: “Creme d’Or is now totally committed to exporting – and our hard work over the past two years is consistently resulting in some major new order wins.
“One of the first things I did when I joined the company was work with government trade advisers to create an exporting plan that identified the most appropriate markets for us.
“This can be a timely and sometimes challenging process that requires a lot of due diligence so it was crucial to have informed and knowledgeable trade advisers on hand to help us through this process and overcome any hurdles.
“With this support, we realised that the European market was already highly competitive, which led us to identify opportunities instead in the Middle East.”
Creme d’Or was invited to a Northern Powerhouse trade mission to Dubai to attend Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food event which showcases suppliers to 95,000 visitors. Defra and DIT will be supporting UK businesses at Gulfood in February this year, as part of the Food is GREAT campaign.
The trade mission provided Creme d’Or with a host of contacts across the Middle East that they wouldn’t otherwise have accessed, and they returned from Dubai with two supermarket customers which gave the company the confidence to continue growing in the region and elsewhere.
Creme d’Or subsequently built on this success and began exploring other opportunities in Asia.
Commenting on the success, Laura added: “I would urge other businesses to think about exporting. It has been a great boost to our growth and further expansion plans.”
With further government support the company exhibited at food and hospitality trade show HOFEX in Hong Kong, while also travelling to Singapore to meet with prospective clients.
Laura returned from this trip with a “significant order” from a large supermarket chain.
Mark Robson, regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber at the Department for International Trade, said: “Concerns about the cost of exporting and bureaucracy often prevent highly successful companies based here in Yorkshire from exporting.
“But we want to help – we have 29 International Trade Advisers who provide specialist support and guidance to ensure that companies can achieve their potential.
“We’re aware of hundreds of different exporting opportunities that could be right for businesses across this region.
“As we look to the year ahead, now could be the ideal time for companies thinking about exporting for the first time to discover the benefits for themselves.”