FMF pleased with customer interaction at food show

FMF, Fiji’s leading food manufacturer and exporter, was one of nine Pacific Island food and beverage companies that was featured at the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand hosted Pacific Hub stand at the Auckland Food Show between July 27-30.

FMF’s Rakesh Raju (right) at the FMF booth during the Auckland Food Show with PTI NZ intern Ino Esera from Samoa.

This was the second successive year that FMF participated in the show. Rakesh Raju, FMF’s Business Development Manager for Exports who was here both times said this year’s show was “bigger and better than last year.”

The FMF brand is known across the Pacific Islands region for popular products like FMF Breakfast Crackers, All-Natural Fine Fare Cream biscuits and cookies as well as a growing range of sweet and savoury packaged snack foods. It’s recently built state of the art flour and biscuit factory in Suva exports around the region including to New Zealand and Australia.

Though FMF products have been selling in New Zealand for several years, it was always good to interact directly with the end customer at events like the Auckland Food Show, Mr Raju said. It was also an opportunity to try out or taste test new lines of product. This year, FMF widely sampled its Dalo Chips and a couple of new varieties of biscuits.

“Interaction with visitors provided us a good opportunity to gauge which products would work for us and why. For instance, their comments on Dalo Chips has provided us a deeper insight into what level of chilly [spiciness] works and won’t work in New Zealand,” Mr Raju told Pacific Periscope.

Mr Rakesh Raju, FMF Business Development Manager for Exports.

The show worked at various levels for the company: “Exposure to a huge variety of consumers in various age brackets, creating awareness of FMF and associated brands to potential markets and buyers, some understanding of how, where and at what price-points potential consumers would like our products ranged,” Mr Raju said. This year, the company did not sell product instead opting to sample widely.

Mr Raju was impressed by the sheer volume of footfalls and the interest that consumers showed in FMF’s offerings. “The consumers came in numbers in a steady stream throughout each day. It provided a good setting for engagement between consumers and the marketers at the Food Show. There is no doubt, based on the attendance and comments from those that visited, the show has met our objective,” Mr Raju said, describing it as “a well-organised professionally-controlled trade experience.”

Commending PTI for its facilitating and coordinating role Mr Raju said, “PTI certainly met FMF’s expectations as a very focused, professional organisation. It was a pleasure to meet and work with PTI representatives.”

FMF is a participant in the PTI NZ Pacific Path to Market programme. Path to Market is designed to help exporters from the Pacific Islands gain a better understanding of the New Zealand market. It is an export capability programme combining a range of export facilitation services to help export ready and export capable businesses to enter New Zealand.

The programme follows a series of methodical steps to get into the New Zealand market, starting with the workshops followed by an exploratory trade mission to New Zealand to apply their learnings, trial their products and packaging and introduce exporters to potential buyers.

For more information contact Joe Fuavao, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager at joe.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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