China lessons for New Zealand’s Food & Beverage Sector

What do NZ's food & beverage companies need to do to succeed in China?

Yesterday I attended NZTE‘s China Food & Beverage Roadshow in Auckland, part of a nationwide roadshow for one of NZ’s top export industries. 

Here are some of my personal highlights: 

  • Social media is one of the most important and cost-effective ways for kiwi exporters to make a direct connection with their market. And yet, not many kiwi companies are taking up the opportunity.

  • Agility is very important for operating in China. And agility is not the same as raw speed. You need to be rapidly responsive, but you also need to plan well. This may seem like a contradiction in terms, but as Glen Murphy quoted, “An artist is someone who can hold two opposing viewpoints and still remain fully functional.” 

  • The NZ-China Free Trade Agreement is a great advantage, but it’s not always simple. My quote for the day came from MFAT‘s Steve McCombie, when asked if there was a single, simple point of contact for any Free Trade Agreement issues, said “it’s like trying to put a jellyfish in a pigeonhole, it’s just not going to fit.” This is true not only for FTA issues, but pretty much everything related to doing business in the People’s Republic. 

  • And, as we’ve been saying for quite a while, personal branding is big. NZTE’s social media outreach is through consulting chefs like Jason Cui. While he weibo’s from NZTE’s official brand account, the voice is distinctly his own, and carries the passion for great multicultural food that he shared with us yesterday. 

If you were there, what did you take out of it? If you’re in the food & beverage industry, and looking to China, what’s keeping you up at night?

Update: NZTE has released a highlights video of the event

One thought on “China lessons for New Zealand’s Food & Beverage Sector

  • Paul

    Can you do social media in English?


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