Chris Wyllie and Rusila Vere of Tavulomo Coconut Processing Ltd (Fiji) showcased coconut jerky and coconut oil products in their first hit out at the Auckland Food Show from 27-30 July 2017.
The couple was invited to join the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Pacific Hub along with eight other food and beverage companies from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Samoa and Tonga.
As the only Pacific Island company offering coconut jerky alongside its well-established coconut oil and coconut soap Tavulomo grabbed some attention.
The company reported to the Fiji Sun Online, that visitors were “very curious” about coconut jerky.
They made the New Zealand Herald’s “Top five weird and wonderful food offerings” in a Food Show feature.
Murray McCully, Former New Zealand Government Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade visited the stand and was photographed with a pack of the coconut jerky.
Mr Wyllie said Tavulomo’s Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) had a good response from the people who came by and tried their VCO much like the responses they have had at other shows or markets.
“I like it when I invite people to come and try and they say they already have some at home and after tasting they ask why does Tavulomo VCO taste so much nicer than the one they currently have — so I explain the process of how we make our VCO,” he said.
Although sales could have been bigger, they were happy with the visitor feedback on the taste of VCO and coconut jerky.
Since the show, they have supplied VCO and coconut jerky to a vegetable retailer and they have made a contact who is interested in introducing the products in the Middle East.
Overall, he said for him the Food Show was not the place to find the big buyers. It was more about showing the products that could be in shops or bought online, he said.
“We were pretty happy with the outcome and further results can build from this media coverage with buyers coming to us later.”
But that’s not all. Tavulomo coconut products is about to hit several Japanese TV channels from September 23.
The products would be featured several times in the online shop through the TV programme and then through a few local channels and Ustream.
In addition, two magazines will run articles on Tavulomo products this month. One article will feature Tavulomo VCO, VCO with ginger and coconut jerky in a magazine called Poco’ce, which is a free magazine and online publication in Metro Stations in Central Tokyo and sent to 2,500 offices with a monthly circulation of 80,000. Another magazine will run a special on natural products and devote page one to Tavulomo Coconut products.
Meanwhile, things are starting to roll in Australia with a Western Australian company ordering a mix of product.
For more information please contact, Joe Fuavao, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager on email@example.com