UK dental mints company wins $6m export deal with US firm
A UK dental mints company, Dr Heff’s Products Ltd, which created the world’s first ever mint to actively reverse the process of tooth decay and erosion, has secured a deal projected to reach a value of £4.56m ($5.96m) over the next five years in the United States.
The mint will be available across the country this month after a deal was signed with US buyer Remarkable Imports LLC. The contract will see the company’s innovative mints sold in American dental surgeries and direct to consumers via Benco Dental Distributor and Dr Heff’s US website.
Invented by Dr Mike Heffernan and Dr Toby Edwards-Lunn, two entrepreneurial dentists from Sussex in 2014, Dr Heff’s Remarkable Mints claim to be scientifically proven to re-mineralise teeth and neutralise the acid and harmful bacteria in plaque that causes tooth decay.
A statement put out by the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) explained the background to the innovation and said it was only after an unlikely collaboration with confectioners – "typically a dentist’s worse enemy" – that the duo were able to create a great-tasting, sugar-free dental health mint that freshens breath over a long period of time.
Dr Heff’s Products Ltd co-founder Heffernan told ConfectioneryNews: “We always planned to export, as we saw our mints as being a global product with no like-for-like competitor in the market. So, travelling overseas and seeing our brand growing internationally has been very exciting.
“We have had regular meetings with DIT to discuss our progress and future plans, and for an SME, this is an invaluable opportunity to analyse where we are and what we need to do next with knowledgeable experts who are looking at our business with an impartial eye.”
Dr Heff’s Products’ mints are already being sold in Raffles and Accor hotels in Germany, Poland and Monaco. The company is currently discussing opportunities with retail chains in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and the business also has plans to expand into China and Mexico.
The DIT has been supporting the business since it exhibited at ISM Cologne in 2016, where they were the only dentists at one of the biggest confectionery trade shows in the world.
Summer Fancy Foods Show
More recently, DIT supported the company to attend the Summer Fancy Foods Show in New York City where they initially met their new buyer.
“I think it is wonderful that, at a time when the UK needs to be ambitious about selling its products and innovations abroad, we have access to experts that can help our business find new international customers, and I would encourage other companies to get in touch with DIT to see how they can help, ” said Heffernan.
Ben Raby, head of region – South East at DIT, said: “We’re delighted to see Dr Heff’s Products expanding its sales outside of Europe … many businesses have already benefited from the service that we offer, and we aim to inspire many more to explore new markets overseas.”
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