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More Healthy Eating Options for Hong Kong

A New Zealand-born food distributor uses Hong Kong as a base and aims to tap into Asian markets.

Eat the Kiwi is a Hong Kong-based food distributor under The Produce Co Ltd, an award-winning premium food service business in New Zealand. With a broad network of food suppliers in their home country, the company sources a range of fresh ingredients including vegetables, meat and seafood from the Pacific. They deliver to top restaurants, hotels, retailers and direct to homes in Hong Kong.

The Produce Company had been long awaiting the opportunity to expand beyond its own border. In 2015, the company opened its first overseas location in Hong Kong – Eat the Kiwi. “With a dense population in a small and urban area, Hong Kong relies on the importation of 95 percent of its food and beverages. The import-dependent market offers great opportunities for us, said Philippa Kerr,” General Manager, “with the ease of free trade policy and open business environment, Hong Kong has always been on the top of our list.”

In just three years’ time, the company has grown to now supply fresh ingredients imported from New Zealand to over 100 premium restaurants, hotels and retailers in the city. It didn’t take long for the team to see additional opportunity in the consumer and eCommerce markets. Last year, Eat the Kiwi launched its online platform to offer home delivery service. 

“We could see a growing demand for fresh, high quality food from a trusted source,” Rebekah Bradley, Marketing Director, said, “together with the rising popularity of online shopping, we believe there is room for our business to grow.”

Bradley also stressed the importance of building a long-lasting relationship with business partners. “The Hong Kong market is very relationship-driven. It was quite hard for us to get the first connection to local customers,“ she added, “however, once the relationships are built, they will be very loyal, so we work to stay collaborative and seek to grow long-term partnerships with them.”

To stay ahead of the food supplying industry in Hong Kong, Kerr revealed that a lot of effort has been put into the marketing of its brands into the local market. They have taken advantage of social media promotions via influencers as well as organising chef demonstrations and tasting events. With a significant growth in business, the company is now planning to expand its team and replicate its successful business model in other Asian cities.

“The InvestHK team has been guiding us on the setup procedure and recommending professional services like accountants and lawyers. We look forward to maintaining a long term relationship with them,” Kerr concluded.

 

11.10.2018

Fast Facts

  • Established in New Zealand and opened its first overseas location in Hong Kong in 2015
  • Distribute a range of fresh ingredients from the Pacific to local top restaurants, hotels and retailers
  • Currently with a team of nine and planned to expand to 12 by 2019.

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