North Brewing Co
Image Source: Chloe Chapman
North Brewing Co has forecast turnover to hit £1.8m by the end of the 2018/19
Richard Bell

China market provides £96k export boost for Leeds-based brewer

North Brewing Co has given its exports business a boost with £96k worth of orders from Chinese customers.

The Leeds-based brewer secured the orders after exhibiting at Food & Hotel China (FHC) – the country’s biggest trade show for the food and hospitality industry.

North Brewing Co attended the event on a Northern Powerhouse trade mission organised as part of the Government’s Food is GREAT campaign, set up to help UK food and drink companies sell overseas.

Having started on its export journey just 18 months ago with an order in Ireland, the firm now exports to 17 countries.

North Brewing Co was founded in 2015 and saw its turnover rise to £950k after it started selling beers to supermarkets in June 2016.

With export orders on the up, the company has forecast turnover to hit £1.8m by the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

John Gyngell, director at North Brewing Co, said: “Chinese consumers have a growing thirst for international beer, with Shanghai and Hong Kong in particular developing a taste for overseas independent craft beers.

“Exhibiting at the FHC show with the support of Defra and DIT boosted our confidence in accessing the emerging opportunity we saw in the Chinese market. We attended the show with little idea of what to expect and left with a number of useful contacts and a clear idea of what our next steps should be.”

John continued: “The road to China hasn’t been without its challenges. We had to accommodate for the extra shipping time and find partners that care about our beers as much as we do. We’ve made sure that our distributors are using cold chain refrigeration throughout their journey from Leeds direct to bars and shops in China.

“But there is support on hand from expert government trade advisers to help businesses overcome these challenges. I would encourage other local food and drink businesses like us to take the leap and sell overseas.”

Mark Robson, the Department for International Trade’s Head of Yorkshire and the Humber, commented: “The latest export figures show that Yorkshire breweries are selling more and more products into China. From just £150k in 2012, the region sent £3.98m worth of beverages to China in 2017.

“North Brewing Co is an excellent example of a firm that isn’t afraid to take the leap into new markets. Trade advisers on the ground here in Yorkshire can help with issues from navigating local laws and customs, to attending trade shows. The next UK trade mission to FHC departs in November – get in touch now, and your business could be the next to take advantage of this unmissable opportunity for growth.”

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