Exports: Do Your Research

Investing time and effort in research, and remaining focused is key to export success. Two or three markets or countries are enough to get you started on the right track.

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Questions to consider

Which countries should you target?

Make a shortlist and focus your research to understand routes to market. FDF's Export Snapshot (pdf) will provide indicators of the UK's top food and drink export markets.

Which markets import or consume the largest quantities of your product?

Where is there a trend for your product type?

Which markets are predicted to grow?

Look at economic trends and FDF's trade statistics for your target markets.

How will cultural practices in your target markets affect consumption or demand?

Remember, these can change between regions.

Which customers should you be selling to?

Consider the demographic. Is there a demand for premium products?

Getting started

Make sure you fully understand and promote the Unique Selling Points (USPs) of your product and the profile of potential customers

Develop a clear marketing strategy.

Be aware of any product modifications you may need to make

Consider product labelling requirements as these can vary across markets. FDF members have direct access to a team of technical and regulatory experts who can provide expert advice.

Do not quote prices until you fully understand all the costs

Think about additional labelling and packaging, transport and documentation costs.

Check out food safety standards in the markets to which you are looking to export

Local product standards and regulations can vary across the world so factor this into your research.

Understand the routes to market and the additional margins and taxes that will apply throughout the supply chain

You don't want any unpleasant surprises along the way.

Think about market access

Whether you plan to sell directly, through agents, distributors or third parties you need to consider the implications of choosing that route in each market.

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The full PDF can be downloaded here

Last reviewed: 28 Feb 2018