Beloved South Australian yoghurt manufacturers The Yoghurt Shop are taking on Asia with a strategy that defies expectations.
Not ones to put all their eggs in one basket, the Yoghurt Shop, helmed by founder and managing director Simon Reynolds (pictured), is taking on Asia one step at a time.
Established in 2003, The Yoghurt Shop is currently serving over 25 million tubs of yoghurt from 2,000 retailers across five countries.
That number is set to soar now that the company has its sights set on the Asian market. Reynold's first port of call is Hong Kong where the company will be selling from 50 different sites in early August.
Working closely with one of the largest food retailers in Hong Kong and Singapore, Dairy Farm International Holdings, The Yoghurt Shop will be stocked in Oliver's and Marketplace by Jason supermarkets.
The company hopes to dominate the entire South East Asia region by 2022, having already conquered Brunei in 2017.
Business News Australia spoke to Reynolds about the decision to push into the Asian market, its fresh plans for Chinese expansion, and the company's highlights over the last 15 years.
So you're expanding into Hong Kong pretty aggressively why this market specifically?
A couple of years ago we asked ourselves where we want to be and in Australia you've only got two or three big retail chains. As we're a boutique producer we thought the Asian market would appreciate our product more and perhaps pay a better price. More importantly what we're trying to do is have quite a lot of customers in Asia and spread our egg basket I suppose over a range of different buyers. We just see being limited to one or two of the big boys in Australia as very risk averse. With the big supermarkets our capacity would be 80% of their buying power. We could make a lot of money out of it if everything went well but we could also be in a really precarious position in a couple of years if they decided to wave their financial wand.
International expansion is a pretty daunting thing for a lot of businesses, so what your top tip for a successful international launch?
Start from the bottom up. First of all you've got to be export accredited if you believe your product's good enough I don't believe you need a heap of marketing because it's so much bigger than Australia.
You've come a long way since being a stall in the central markets what's been some highlights for the company over the years?
Some highlights was owning 9 stores at their peak, having 150 staff. It was a really buzzing period of our life. A lot of people knew The Yoghurt Shop. Another highlight was creating a successful licence operation where we could thereby move from retail into manufacturing. It gave us the ability financially and time wise to be able to separate from the retail outlets and spend time building a manufacturing plant which has taken us to the next level.
What else is in the pipeline at the moment for the business?
It took us a long time but getting CNCA import licences from China was another highlight. That took us three years of hard work, stress and not getting a lot of answers which causes stress but we got that a couple of months ago. But bringing that forward we are now nosing into the China market. We're hoping to have a small order going to china in the next month or two. That'll be in specialty stores. we chose china because we believe we can get a fair price for our premium products.
Business News Australia
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