Experiencing the Kiwi marketplace in real time

The 40 participating Pacific Island companies from 11 nations that attended the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ Pasifika Business Market in Auckland in March also had market visits packed into their five-day programme.

The skincare and nutraceuticals group visiting a Huckleberry outlet in Auckland.

Market visits give participants an insight into what New Zealand retailers look for when buying for their customers. This puts the Pacific company representatives in the New Zealand retail environment to get a first-hand experience of what it takes to sell product in the country’s competitive retail space.

The visits are a key part of the Path to Market programme, PTI NZ’s multi-step capacity building initiative that is aimed at paving the way for Pacific exporters to find markets for their products in New Zealand.

The visits provide an opportunity for valuable information gathering, understanding potential target audiences, store layouts, product designs, packaging and labelling. The Path to Market programme not only provides market insights, the programme helps equip these businesses with the knowledge and tools to confidently meet buyers.

After their two-day exhibition of products at the Pasifika Festival, the participating companies were split into sectors of interest to them for the market visits. These were in arts and handicraft; food and beverage; clothing and garments; skincare and nutraceuticals.

The handicraft artisans and jewellery makers visited three different companies across Auckland.

The food and beverage group tasting coffee.

Sei Oriana Samoa Stationery and Books (SSAB) located at the Fale o Samoa in Mangere, Auckland; the Auckland Museum Store at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and Meadowlark, a New Zealand manufacturing jeweller’s studio in Central Auckland were the three establishments selected for the visits.

Sei Oriana SSAB is owned by Samoan business woman and entrepreneur Fiti Leung Wai. Sei Oriana stands out as a new, modern spacious retail store, filled with a variety of items from handicrafts, books, clothing, jewellery to a small range of food products.

Ms Stanley warmly greeted everyone and explained a little background to the store. It was started primarily to provide a retail outlet in Auckland for the many products made in Samoa that did not have one. The store also sells various products from other Pacific Islands. The group took the chance to practice their ‘elevator pitch’– which they developed at Path to Market workshops — and provide their business cards for further contact.

At the Auckland Museum the group met with Lisa Varga, Director of the Museum Store. It sells a treasure trove of products with a special section dedicated to products from the Pacific Islands. The target audience is a widely spread demographic but a key spot for tourists and local New Zealanders.  Ms Varga and her assistant bought up much of the handicrafts left over from the Pasifika Business Market the previous weekend.

Meadowlark is a hip New Zealand made jewellery label stocked by the well-established and reputable Walker and Hall company who own a chain of several jewellery outlets in Auckland. The studio provides work for local artisans to produce custom jewellery pieces. For the jewellery producers in the group it was a great opportunity to see craftspeople in action, get new ideas and find out more about the jewellery distribution channels in New Zealand.

Five skincare companies from the Pacific Islands participated in the site visit programme to gain insights into the market for skincare products in New Zealand. The skincare companies were Te Tika Skincare (Cook Islands), Oshins Organics (Papua New Guinea), Alofa Niu (Samoa), Kuki Co Limited (Samoa) and Pacific Farm Holdings (Solomon Islands).

The aim of the visit is to help these Pacific companies develop a better understanding of selling their products to potential New Zealand buyers and gain insights into the different market segments in skincare. The site visits provided insights into different segments of the market such as specialty retailers (such as Commonsense Organics and Huckleberry Farms) as well as pharmacies and other major retailers such as The Body Shop.

John Burton Ltd is New Zealand’s largest importer and distributor of coffee beans purchasing beans from over 20 countries around the world.

The company hosted a group which included a number of coffee growers from several Pacific countries to a coffee cupping session involving beans that they had grown and supplied a sample to J Burton who roasted the sample and prepared it for the cupping session.

It was very clear after the session that there was a wide difference in both smell and taste of beans sourced from different places and that it is important to take consumer preference into account when considering selling coffee into the NZ market.

PTI NZ wishes to thank the managers and owners of the retail stores and business establishments for their generosity in giving of their time and allowing for insights and further understanding of the New Zealand market and the potential for Pasifika products.

For more information, please contact PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz


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