A Canterbury-based crisp company has secured an exporting deal with the Walt Disney World Resort theme park in Florida, giving millions of theme park visitors the chance to experience its crisps.
Kent Crisps sells seven flavours of crisps to retailers across the UK, including Waitrose and Co-op, and exports to ten markets including Europe, Hong Kong, China and the Middle East.
The contract will see Kent Crisps’ oyster and vinegar, ham and mustard and roast beef and spitfire ale flavoured crisps on sale in the UK pavilion in Epcot theme park at the Disney World Resort. Epcot welcomes over 12.2 million visitors each year to its World Showcase attraction which gives people the chance to explore mini versions of countries from across the world, including the UK.
Its UK-inspired area features cobblestone streets, red post boxes, thatched-roof cottages, a traditional English pub and shops filled with British produce, which now includes Kent Crisps.
Kent Crisps owner, Laura Bounds, struck the deal with Disney World after attending a meet the buyer event organised as part of the Food is GREAT campaign in London last December. Laura met with the buyer who was looking for British products to include in its UK attraction.
The Food is GREAT campaign is the cross-departmental campaign between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to support UK food and drink producers to export.
The crisp brand has worked with DIT International Trade Advisers (ITAs) since 2014. ITAs supported the business by advising on how to engage with new markets, providing translators for conversations with potential buyers, and advising on marketing and social media best practice in new markets.
Kent Crisps already counts several International Airlines in the US as customers.The company’s overseas sales currently accounts for 25% of its annual turnover with plans in place to grow this to 40% over the next three years.
Laura Bounds said, “Millions of people visit Disney World every year, so it’s a really exciting opportunity to have our products tried and tested by people from all corners of the globe.
“We launched Kent Crisps in 2011 and have had great success here in the UK, but seeking export opportunities has been a fantastic driver for growth for the business. We’re a small team so having the support of the Food is GREAT campaign has been invaluable.
“DIT has also helped introduce us to new buyers through local workshops. This is always interesting as we can find out first-hand exactly what consumers from different parts of the world want. For example, in North American markets consumers tend to like trying traditionally British flavoured crisps including our salt and vinegar and roast beef flavours.
“If anyone out there is thinking about exporting, I’d urge you to get in touch with your local DIT office now. They can support and advise you on ways to help your business become more profitable. If we can do it, anyone can.”
Ben Raby, head of South East at DIT, said, “Kent Crisps has successfully capitalised on the global demand for British produce. Having the backing of a brand like Disney is especially exciting as the theme park puts Kent Crisps on a truly global platform.
“Finding potential partners can be tricky, but DIT has workshops and events to help businesses meet those specifically looking for British brands. It gives companies the chance to hear in person exactly what consumers want in different countries as tastes can vary across the world.
“Whether you’re a first-time exporter, or hoping to enter a new market, get in touch with our team today. We can help identify best-suited markets for your business, advise on who to speak to and how to approach getting your product to market.”
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