International trade thrives despite uncertainty

Although proudly from Gnawfolk and we continue to grow in the U.K. marketplace, the world is a large place and Gnaw is ambitious. Sustainable growth year on year has resulted in 80% of our turnover now coming from directly international trade, and this continues to soar.


Now exporting to 20 countries, in the first 6 months of 2018, Gnaw launched our products in a further seven new markets; the U.S.A, China, France, Morocco, South Africa, Germany and Russia.


So what makes Gnaw Chocolate so successful overseas? Gnaw’s Founder, Matt Legon, attributes this to building strong long term working relationships. Working closely with distributors with the same passion for the brand, Matt sees their key partners as an extension of his team. Led by his infectious enthusiasm and passion, Matt’s team in Norwich and his international distributors all hold a hard-fast belief in Gnaw and are fully committed to the business and its growth strategy. This is what makes Gnaw’s so successful at ensuring longevity overseas.


‘’We have an excellent working relationship with our partners, working with them for many years now. This year, our exclusive French distributor and Gnaw France have rapidly become a key partner. The focus and dedication to launch the brand in France has been exceptional”.


The response to the our new 35g chocolate and granola bars from Gnaw France alone has been exceptional with repeat orders rapidly coming from the Casino Group and Carrefour, Matt says.


Just four weeks after launch, we needed to put even further investment into our Norwich factory to ensure we met the demand. 


In the international marketplace it is important to adapt. There is a lot for hard work and dedication to succeed, but it is highly enjoyable. Of course, it is essential for us to adhere to sometimes very complex food standard regulations and tailor products to meet the needs of a specific market. Six bespoke products were required for the U.S. For example, Banoffee Pie is known as Banana Fosters and the best-before dates also all needed to be standardised to the U.S format, as such the U.S packaging all needed to be bespoke and ‘localised’ – this took 3.5 months to finalise.


“At Gnaw, we always look to incorporate something unique to the products for a new country. In China, the colour red is considered to be lucky and as such we look to incorporate more red in the Chinese packaging – after all, everyone could use more good luck!” Matt continues.

 

It is a question Matt is asked frequently… ‘How has Gnaw managed to grow their export business so much in the face of so much Brexit uncertainty?’  To which Matt responds, “Of course, they are uncertain times for anyone in business here in U.K, but we at Gnaw are confident that we will continue to trade with Europe after the U.K becomes independent. The weak pound has actually ensured that Gnaw has become much more competitive on pricing, making our products up to 20% cheaper than in 2016 – this is very effective at building brand awareness and future demand”.

 

By challenging the existing boundaries of the industry, we reached out to new consumer audiences by spotting and responding quickly to emerging trends. The new lines have seen us successfully diversify ahead of the competition to sustainably build our business. The exceptional growth of the export business has seen Gnaw influence increase far beyond its established area of the U.K.

 

In these rather uncertain times, as the EU negotiations continue and U.K businesses are left wondering how trade will be affected after Brexit, it is good to know that the international trade market isn’t all doom and gloom.