Welsh food and drink businesses have every reason to celebrate after securing business deals which will see their products available in South Korea, thanks to support from the Welsh Government.
Wrexham Lager, one of Wales’ most well-known breweries will see its Wrexham Lager Export bottles in supermarkets, bars and restaurants in Seoul in the coming weeks.
Vaughan Roberts, Director of Wrexham Lager is delighted with the recent announcement,
“We are continually looking for ways to grow the business, and this export deal we have secured in South Korea is a massive achievement for the company.
“A full 40ft container carrying 34,560 330ml bottles of our Wrexham Lager Export 5% was loaded and departed Felixstowe, and will arrive in Korea in the next couple of weeks.
“The bottle label is a take on one of the historic labels from the old brewery. It was produced with the Korean customer in mind, and is in Korean font to adhere to Korean law.
“We are thankful for the support that we’ve received in order to conclude this deal. The Welsh Government brought in specialist marketing advisors to offer advice and help with any questions or problems that may arise. I personally would like to thank them for their help and professionalism in securing this deal as well as a big thank you to the Welsh Government for promoting Welsh products and businesses in this way.
“I hope that the Korean public will enjoy our Welsh Lager and that it will lead to further future business.”
Wrexham Lager is a brewery in Wrexham, north-east Wales that has produced alcoholic drinks for more than 120 years. A new hi-tech brewery, run by the Roberts family, opened in 2011 in the heart of Wrexham, after the original one closed in 2000. While the original brewery was demolished in 2002-2003, the historic building in which brewing started still remains. The Roberts family who restarted Wrexham Lager are still using the same ingredients as the original recipe.
Another company to see success in Korea is Cradoc’s Savoury Biscuits, who will see six of their product lines of crackers become available to consumers.
Director of Cradoc’s Allie Thomas said,
“We were able to close this deal following the virtual Trade Development Visit to South Korea which was funded by the Welsh Government in June 2021. We were matched up with interested suppliers and individual virtual meetings took place where we could discuss each other’s requirements. We found a trading partner who saw the quality and potential of our products, and we agreed to work together.
“We supplied specifications with guidance from Project HELIX via Zero2Five Food Industry Centre to deliver the very specific detail required by Korean authorities, including food standards accreditations. This took some time and patience on both sides but once our products had been listed and agreed for consumption in Korea, our partner placed their first order. The first pallet contained four of our products. On receipt of the shipment and as a consequence of market-testing, we received orders for a further two product lines.”
“The Korean Market is large and affluent. It has an appreciation of imported food provision. The population is well educated and keen to try European and World foods. The selection of flavours reflects this. In addition, population increase means that food supply chains are important to the South Korean Government and authorities, along with an interest in creating and strengthening reliable supply chains.”
Anglesey Sea Salt / Halen Môn also received success, selling their products to an export and import company in South Korea which supplies chefs and stores, but also sells on Instagram.
Alison Lea-Wilson, Director of Anglesey Sea Salt / Halen Môn said,
“We are selling to a young dynamic individual. He has embraced our whole company ethic. He asked us for some branded clothing which he wears when he posts on Insta. We have regular meetings on Zoom using an interpreter and email contact.
“To him, it’s very much more than just the product. South Koreans are interested in Welsh and British culture, the way we use salt compared to how they use it, who makes it and how it is presented.
“We are very excited about this new deal. We would like to thank the Welsh Government for all their support in gaining access to these new markets. We love working with such lovely people and embracing a different culture.”
All deals were secured following the businesses’ participation in the Welsh Government’s food and drink export support programme, which saw 15 Welsh food and drink companies take part in a virtual Trade Development Visit (TDV) to South Korea last year.
The virtual TDV programme is intended to support suitable companies which are interested in exporting. It sets them up with carefully selected and matched buyers and distributors in order to develop and strengthen business, trade, and export relationships.
Commenting on the successes, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths MS said,
“Securing new export markets, as well as maintaining and building on current ones, is crucial for the future prosperity of the Welsh food and drink industry. Our aim is to support Welsh export businesses, both new and experienced, to help them understand the challenges and opportunities and inspire them to make the most of all the possible markets available.
“Our export support programme is available to all food and drink businesses and helps aspiring, new and established exporters. We have assisted many businesses with our Trade Development Programme to different countries and our intention is to take a Welsh delegation in person to Seoul this September.”
A survey conducted with the South Korean buyers following activity via the export support programme predicted overall purchases could exceed £1m, with the success of Wrexham Lager, Cradocs and Halen Môn demonstrating good progress is being made in securing that prediction.