Tongan vanilla exporter hopeful of impressive growth in Japan

18/11/2013

A recent visit to Japan has convinced well-known Tongan vanilla exporter Heilala Vanilla of the growth potential for the brand in the discerning Japanese market.<!--more-->

The company’s sales team visited department store selling the distinctive Pacific vanilla brand in major Japanese cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe. It also paid a visit to a factory that uses the company’s vanilla product in producing more than 160,000 biscuits a day.

Describing the Japanese market as one of the most sophisticated that the company had visited so far in terms of packaging, food safety documentation and packaging, Heilala Director Jennifer Boggiss said, the company would rise to the challenges and increase exports to high end markets like Japan.

Ms Boggiss said the story and the background of the place from where the vanilla originates – the pristine island of Vava’u in Tonga – plays an important part in building the uniqueness of Heilala Vanilla. The company is therefore paying great attention to projecting Tonga’s beauty and purity of environment in its product marketing communications.

Heilala Vanilla started exports to Japan only in 2012. Its importer and distributor has successfully placed product in top end department stores in several significant cities since. The Heilala team said it was impressed by what it saw and was confident of increased sales in Japan, with new marketing and communications initiatives.

The Japanese visit was also an education on marketing product from a small Pacific Island nation into a sophisticated consumer market, the team said.

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