Tailored business matching helps Butterfingers taste more success in China

March 2014

Victorian shortbread manufacturer, The Old Colonial Cookie Company has received a boost in sales to China after it participated in a food and beverage showcase in Melbourne last year.

The Old Colonial Cookie Company

The company’s flagship product, Butterfingers shortbread, comes in a range of varieties including macadamia, lemon myrtle, ginger and choc chip. It also produces an increasingly popular gluten free version.

The Old Colonial Cookie Company received eight qualified leads at a tailored business matching session with a group of Chinese buyers in Melbourne last year, and subsequently, accepted five significant orders.  One shipment, despatched to China before Christmas, comprised two orders that equated to about 35,000 units of the 175g retail pack varieties. 

The Old Colonial Cookie Company’s CEO, Howard Dray praised staff from Austrade and the Victorian Government Business Office for their assistance in providing genuine, quality introductions.

‘The buyers were primarily wholesalers from the east coast of China. Interestingly, one of them is setting up a new business venture – a restaurant and business centre promoting Australian products. 

‘What the buyers like about our Butterfingers shortbread is that it’s Australian made and therefore regarded as ‘safe’, it tastes great, has attractive and stylish packaging, and they do believe there is a market for our product in China,’ Mr Dray said. 

The delegation of 60 buyers from China’s food and beverage industry visited Melbourne after attending the Fine Food Australia expo in Sydney, where The Old Colonial Cookie Company was introduced by Austrade. 

Mr Dray said Austrade was a good resource during the whole process, helping smooth any difficulties due to language or process. 

‘Austrade’s China staff made themselves available via email after the meeting. If there were any questions, issues or language barriers, we could liaise through Austrade and they liaised with the customers.  If we needed them for any communication, documentation or procedural issues, they were there to help,’ he said.

Mr Dray said the orders were still flowing through from the event back in September. 

‘We have a number of distributors in China now, so we do expect it will become an increasingly large part of our business,’ he said.

Butterfingers shortbread is currently exported to 14 countries including the US, Canada, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and New Zealand. 

He is also hoping to make inroads into the UK retail market, having sold a pallet of Butterfingers to a distributor that received positive interest from one of the largest retailers in the UK.

For more information on The Old Colonial Cookie Company, visit www.butterfingers.com.au

For information on exporting to China

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