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Chloe Van Dyke, founder of Nelson-based health drinks manufacturer CHIA, offers her experience-based advice on entering the Australian market.

Australia is different from New Zealand, and every state in Australia is unique and needs to be treated as such. So we spent time in Australia, walking the streets and getting to know our potential customers.

We explored the different channels to market and decided we would start with independent supermarkets, health food stores and cafes.

We discovered that independent supermarkets and health food stores in Australia are gaining market share from larger supermarkets, as people become more focused on healthy and local products.

We also learnt that in food service, brunch is now the fastest growing meal eaten out which is perfectly suited to our range of CHIA and AWAKA drinks.

To track down the right distributor we attended the Fine Foods Show. However, instead of having a stall and hoping a distributor would come to us we found products that were well presented at the show and talked to the creators of those products about how they have gone about distribution in Australia.

We also looked in stores and found which products we would like to sit next to on the shelf, found out who was distributing them, and got in touch with those distributors.

Since entering Australia we have supported the market through tastings, social media and PR. We regularly fly across the Tasman and spend time with sales reps and meet with store owners.

This allows us to keep our finger on the pulse and change track wherever necessary.

Visit www.chia.co.nz

Glenn Baker

Professional writer/editor with 35-plus years experience - including radio copywriting, various television writing/production roles, and writing for business magazines. I have also co-owned a wholesale food distribution business.

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