The London Deli Company, a York-based manufacturer of premium snacks, confectionary and preserves, is aiming to grow its exports by 30 per cent in the next year, following year-on-year growth of its international sales.
The firm, which counts the royal family, British Airways and Harrods amongst its customers, saw exports rise by a third in 2018, resulting in 80 per cent of its total revenue coming from overseas sales. It is now planning to increase sales in Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries in 2019.
Since launching in 2011, the company has supplied its products to distributors and retailers in the US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and across the Middle East.
The company received support for its exporting from International Trade Advisers (ITAs) as part of the Food is GREAT campaign, the cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for International Trade (DIT). The campaign aims to showcase UK food and drink overseas, and to help firms to export.
ITAs supported the business in the Middle East by introducing them to distributors and retailers, resulting in the company securing deals across the region. ITAs also helped the business to ensure compliance with relevant international law, and to overcome culture and language barriers in its various overseas markets.
The London Deli Company employs 10 staff and is headquartered in York. Its products include premium crisps, chocolates, biscuits and jams.
Craig Benton, managing director at The London Deli Company, said: “We wanted to launch a food company that could be instantly recognised internationally as a premium brand. By using ‘London’ in our brand name, we are able to instantly embody the prestige and quality associated with the UK.
“British manufactured food products are already known for excellence in overseas markets, which is an added bonus when speaking to potential customers.
“It’s these perceptions of Britishness that helped us to launch The London Deli Company as an internationally-focused brand. But while we’ve enjoyed significant export growth, it hasn’t been without its complexities.
“Language barriers, logistics and international law each presented challenges for us, but with support from organisations like DIT and Defra we’ve managed to overcome these and successfully grow our exports.
“There isn’t anything stopping other Yorkshire producers, whether they’ve just launched or are long established, from selling overseas too. Carefully researching markets and doing the due diligence on buyers are the key starting points for success.”
Mark Robson, head of Yorkshire and the Humber at DIT, said: “The international mindset of firms like The London Deli Company has led to exports of Yorkshire and the Humber food and drink rising 4.6 per cent to £1.17bn in the year to September 2018.
“Food and drink producers across the region should recognise the power the British brand has overseas, offering firms a head-start when it comes to attracting buyers. We have 29 International Trade Advisers across Yorkshire that can help businesses begin their journey.
“If The London Deli Company can do it, so can your business.”
Firms looking for support should contact 0300 365 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has a number of live export opportunities currently listed, including general information on exporting and events.