Our newest board member Nigel Parrott was a guest of the Philippine Trade Minister as a keynote speaker at the IFEX show in Manila last month.
The Grocery Accelerator IFEX keynote presentation was on “How to export successfully to the UK” and later Nigel held roundtable sessions with 30 individual exporters keen to learn more about how they could do business here.
Our slot was the centrepiece section of the IFEX Food Show in Manila. The Philippine government has a key priority to promote food exports to Europe and, following our successful pilot for Austrlian brands, asked our team for help. The visit was sponsored by the Trade secretary of the Philippines and Nigel’s presentations and one to one sessions were the best attended in the entire 4 day show, with the Philippinos showing a real passion and desire to learn how to successfully open up the UK retail market.
Nigel established that the key to success for Philippine food exporters was:
1. A UK Grocery listing is the platform to then expand into the rest of Europe. The largest market in the world. Where the UK lead, European retailers often follow.
2. Great innovative ideas that fulfil an unmet consumer need can get listings in UK retail without incurring listing fees. This makes the UK retail unique in being driven by doing right by the consumer, rather than selling shelf space to the highest bidder. This means there is a lower barrier to enter the UK market than most other countries.
3. The importance of developing products and packaging to appeal to the mass market UK population. This requires a change in mindset from product and commodity trading to becoming brand builders.
We extend a huge thank you to the Philippine Trade Minister and DTI team for their hospitality and for inviting us to share our experience at the IFEX food show. We look forward to working with local brands as part of a wider collaboration later this year.