British confectionery exporter secures distributor in Japan

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Cocoda's range of chocolate and confectionery. Photo: Cocoda.
Cocoda's range of chocolate and confectionery. Photo: Cocoda.
Cocoda, which works with small luxury brands to market and sell their confectionery products abroad, has secured a distribution contract with Japan.

The company, set up  in 2004, works with six brands across the UK including Prestat, Simply Delicious, Summerdown Mint and Pulsetta, exporting to 25 countries including North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australasia.

Taste top factor


The contract will see products from Holdsworth Chocolates and Duncan’s of Deeside sold in department stores, delicatessens and gourmet food shops in Japan.

David Hill, MD, Cocoda, said it won the contract after attending the Global Food Forum (GFF) buyer event in Newmarket last year.

Taste is the most important factor when selling luxury chocolate, biscuits and confectionery​,” said Hill.

He added thanks to attending the UK Government, Department for International Trade (DIT) events, he was able to meet potential buyers face-to-face, and give them samples to try from its portfolio of biscuits, confectionery and chocolate.

Hill said the global appetite for British food and drink is increasing but there are certain regulations around packaging and ingredients that vary from country to country.

Working with DIT helped Cocoda to navigate these and prepared the business and its brands for what to expect when exporting to a new market for the first time​,” he added.

Champagne truffles 

For example, when selling to buyers in the Middle East products like our champagne truffles were removed from the tasting lists because they contain alcohol, which is only available for purchase at licensed venues​.

Exporting has been fundamental to the business success, and helped to expand the global customer base for all the brands in Cocoda’s portfolio. If these brands can capitalise on the demand for luxury British products across the globe, so can other East of England businesses​.”

As part of its work encouraging local businesses to export, DIT hosts regular networking events where companies can meet distributors and partners from across the globe.

According to Alan Pain, head of exports, East of England, DIT, there are growing opportunities for premium confectionery brands like Holdsworth Chocolates and Duncan’s of Deeside overseas, particularly in Asia, where consumers are quickly developing an appetite for dairy products.

Food and drink exports generated more than £22bn of income for the UK in 2017, and this looks set to increase as growing numbers of consumers look for British-branded products​,” said Pain.

He urged all local businesses to come along to the DIT events ​ to meet face-to-face with prospective buyers and learn more about exporting their products.

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