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Small, medium and large brands can score success in the Asian market.

Najib Lawand of FIAL, a panelist at Breaking Boundaries LIVE on 4 August, explained how in his presentation at the AIFST conference in Brisbane yesterday.

It's an exciting time to be an Australian food brand owner considering expanding into new markets.

The dollar is relatively stable, the burgeoning Asian market is looking to Australia for food products, and there's a great deal of industry and government support available in the form of funding and education on how to prepare for export.

On such resource is Food Innovation Australia LTD (FIAL) an industry-led, government funded initiative to accelerate commercially-driven collaboration and innovation in the Australian food and agribusiness industry.

According to Lawand (pictured), when buyers from Asia are looking at Aussie brands on FIAL's eCatalogue, the main filter used in selecting products is unique selling point (USP).

najib

“They're looking for niche products that will provide them with exclusivity in their product portfolio,” said Lawand in his presentation.

“They're favouring small (50% ) and medium (35%) businesses but also look to large suppliers,” he said.

He stressed the importance of a good website with clear brand messaging, as the level of sourcing interest is clearly influenced by the product page on the supplier's website.

“Another important point is that 70% of supplier requests are for products that are Halal-accredited.”

FIAL has organised several inbound buyer missions, and Lawand shared some insights from this program.

“Buyers want direct connection with suppliers,” he said, noting also that 90 per cent of suppliers that offered a promotional program secured orders.

For the most part, the products shown to buyers on these missions exceeded their expectations, but the feedback was that brand owners need to hone their presentation skills, which were rated as “average”.

What FIAl has found when participating at international trade shows and showcasing Aussie products, Lawand said, is that there is interest across all categories of food product, not just meat and wine.

However, he said that while the awareness of Australia as a producer of high quality products is high, the awareness of our processing capability is relatively low.

Lawand will be a panelist at the Food & Drink Business + PKN Breaking Boundaries Live event on 4 August in Sydney. The panel will be discussing pitfalls and pointers for companies preparing to take their brands into new markets.

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