Yorkshire brewer lands Chinese export deal

Yorkshire brewer lands Chinese export deal

The brewery is now looking to expand its reputation in the Chinese beer market after securing orders for 12,000 bottles in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Baijiu Beer Company, which produces craft beer that’s combined with China’s national spirit, Baijiu, will ship its first international order this month after only three months of development in the Chinese market. 

The export order was secured with support from advisers dedicated to Yorkshire and the Humber businesses at the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

The Craft Beer Alliance, which helps UK brewers break into the Chinese market, also helped the business to find buyers.

The deal came shortly after the firm’s produce turned heads at Food & Hotel China (FHC) last year, a major trade show for the country’s food and drink industry, where UK beer took centre stage with its own pavilion.

The brewer exhibited at FHC alongside other Yorkshire food and drink firms as part of the Food is GREAT campaign, the UK Government’s cross-department initiative to showcase UK food and drink overseas and to support firms to export.

Last year food and drink exports to China from Yorkshire and the Humber increased by 152%.

The country has specifically acquired a taste for UK beer, with beer firms seeing a 500% rise in the value of exports last year.

Craig Butler, director at Baijiu Beer Company, said: “Baijiu is hugely popular in China, drunk at celebrations and all other kinds of occasions. Infused with our craft beer, it has a floral, fruity fragrance with notes of vanilla and pear.

“Getting our beers in front of Chinese buyers was really key, with the opportunity to exhibit at FHC coming through our assigned government trade adviser.

“The reception we had was phenomenal, and the show has helped us to grow inroads into the country and to build contacts, something that can be a real struggle if you don’t have support.

“Securing our first order hasn’t been without its challenges. Selecting international markets was an information-intensive process, which required a lot of due diligence, but government trade advisers can help firms jump over export barriers such as these.

“Seeking expert guidance is key and there’s a lot of support out there for any firms looking to export products to markets like China. If we can do it, then I’m sure many other firms like ours can too.

“We’ve had dedicated support from our DIT advisers and our representatives on the ground in Shanghai to help us navigate the export process and to help us make the right decisions. We’re confident that this order will be the first of many.”

Baijiu Beer Company currently sells its beers to Chinese supermarkets as well as restaurants in the UK and is now looking to expand further in China and crack the US.

Mark Robson, regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber at the Department for International Trade, said: “UK food and drink firms exported £439.5m worth of produce to China in 2016, and by the first half of 2017, China was the eighth largest export market for UK businesses.

“This shows how much opportunity there currently is for UK producers in East Asia, and Baijiu Beer Company has tapped into this trend with a brand and product that speaks to Chinese consumers.

“However, the Chinese market isn’t without its complexities, so we have 29 International Trade Advisers based across Yorkshire and the Humber on hand to support firms like this to navigate new territories.”

Firms looking for exporting support can visit the Department of International Trade’s website.