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The Food and Drink Federation has announced the start of a month of food and drink activity with online export community Open to Export, designed to help small and medium-sized food and drink companies grow their exports business.

A joint initiative between Open to Export, Government and industry, the Food and Drink Export Month will run from 15 September – 10 October and include free-of-charge live webinars, latest exports statistics and case studies, as well as the 2014 update of a free downloadable guide ’10 Steps to Export Success’.

The first live webinar on 18 September will feature presentations from successful exporters Kallo Foods, Eat Natural and Queens Award winner Broker Gin, who will give details of their export journey and provide top tips for other businesses looking to begin exporting or expanding into new markets.

Further webinars include a webinar on food labelling and the implications of the new EU regulations on 25th September; ‘How to export dairy’ on 2nd October and ‘How to export beer’ on 9th October.

This activity in 2014 follows the successful launch of the Food & Drink Export Week last year, as part of FDF’s commitment to help exporters overcome the barriers they face when trading overseas and promote the benefits of export to inspire food and drink businesses to start exporting or export more.

Steve Barnes, Director of Economics and Commercial Services at the Food and Drink Federation, says: “The inaugural Food & Drink Focus Week was such a success that we’ve decided to scale it up to a whole month and introduce a raft of new content for 2014. Food & drink exports are a long-term opportunity for growth for companies of all sizes. For those wanting to take a more proactive approach to exports and expand into new markets, the free materials and expert advice on Open to Export throughout the coming weeks should be a valuable resource.”

David Lowe, Director of Operations for Open to Export, says: “Last year’s feature saw thousands of companies make use of the free online resources on Open to Export, with over 200 questions answered on our forum, and 77% of webinar attendees saying they were more likely to consider exporting as a result. We hope that this year’s expanded feature will reach even more companies and get them thinking about the international opportunities for their products.”

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Snacks with Crisp Sensation coating scoop prestigious Dutch retail awards

A range of coated oven snacks from the Dutch manufacturer Royaan is shaking things up in the frozen snack foods market.

Having won Food Personality FoodTopAward in April, Royaan’s Kwekkeboom Oven range has topped things off by being awarded the Golden Wheel of Retail – the biggest prize in the Dutch retail world. Both awards are presented to the most important introductions in the Dutch food trade. Kwekkeboom Oven also received two additional prizes in the Wheel of Retail competition - the Category Wheel for the best introduction within frozen foods and the Innovation Wheel for the most exciting new product during 2014. As well as being important for Royaan, these awards are a great endorsement for Crisp Sensation, the inventor and license holder of the novel coating process used in Kwekkeboom Oven snacks.

It is highly unusual for one brand to win both of these retail awards. The holistic judging criteria make Kwekkeboom’s success particularly meaningful, as they covered actual retail sales as well as assessments by retail buyers and consumers. Of all introductions in the retail trade, food and non-food, Kwekkeboom Oven achieved the second highest turnover, and the highest for food products. Additionally, all awards nominees were rated on category value creation, category business growth and consumer acceptance by a jury of Retail Category Managers and Buyers from the Netherlands’ major retailers. Consumer research, in which consumers assessed the nominees on preference, was also taken into account. Royaan was also praised for its outstanding commercial campaign.

According to Bart Bakker, CEO of Royaan, the company’s success owes much to its partnership with Crisp Sensation, the inventor of the unique coating process used for the Kwekkeboom Oven range. He says, “Having an excellent commercial strategy and plan will only work with an excellent product. Superior product performance lies at the heart of any successful introduction, and that is exactly what Kwekkeboom Oven offers. It is clear that without the Crisp Sensation technology, this would not have been possible.”

Following a two-year development process with the Crisp Sensation specialists, Royaan introduced the Kwekkeboom Oven range to Dutch retail stores in October. The products immediately set a new impulse on the highly competitive but stagnant snack foods market. The range comprises beef croquettes, the Dutch speciality “bitterballen”, cheese dippers and chicken nuggets – the latter in pure chicken or with added Italian, saté or curry sauce fillings. Thanks to the innovative Crisp Sensation coating system, the oven snacks have an excellent crumb comparable to deep fried snacks and a core that remains juicy and tender, even hours after preparation. These superior properties allow for a premium price point and secure above-average margins for retailers.

Manufacturers across the globe who want to make use of the Crisp Sensation technology can do so under license and within a long-term partnership that also comprises expert support in product development and implementation. To give consumers an at-a-glance guarantee that they are purchasing a premium quality snack, Crisp Sensation has developed a co-branding logo for use on-pack.

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