At Fine Food this September, we spoke with Restaurateur and Spiral Foods Ambassador Kylie Kwong and Spiral Foods’ Business Development Manager Kim Norton about their advice for food and beverage companies wanting to export.
- Know Your Market
The biggest learning, Norton said, was to know the market you are hoping to enter. To succeed, spend time in the market, and invest in getting to know it over time. ‘Travel there. Be tourists there,’ she said. ‘Where we’ve gone in cold, it never works.’
Aside from learning cultural nuances (essential to foreign success), this process is a chance to build solid working relationships that may develop into important business contacts in the years to come. While there, make sure that you get to know your competitors and collaborators, and not just from afar. ‘Hang out with other brands,’ she said.
- Know What You Stand For
Kwong’s passion for Spiral Foods’ products is clear. She draws a direct link between her signature dishes and the organic food brand. ‘Spiral products allow me to elevate the quality we put on the table at Billy Kwong,’ she said. ‘We cooks can only be as good as the produce we put on our plate.’
She identifies not only with the quality but the greater purpose behind the brand. Spiral Foods is very open about its position that good, safe wholesome food is a basic human right. So for Kwong, as much as for the brand itself; using these products is supporting human dignity all the way along the supply chain. ‘It’s about supporting all the beautiful artisanal producers,’ she said.
- Relate & Collaborate
Collaboration is the next step after relationship-building. The first step, if done well, will provide the right foundation for a solid overseas network. But you need to be clear on what you stand for when building those relationships. ‘Their personal ethos has to align with ours as well,’ said Norton.
That basis of shared values provides a solid foundation of trust from which to grow. ‘It’s highly collaborative,’ said Kwong. ‘It’s the only way to be.’
If you’d like to learn more about building solid networks in overseas markets from those who’ve gone before; reach out. Our business operates on networks which have been developed over 15-20 years and are still strong.