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Covid-19 is reshaping how Kiwi exporters collaborate internationally. ExporterToday connected with Chloe Liu, the Auckland-based GM of Moa’s Ark Group to share her insights on the company’s goals, and the restorative power of New Zealand’s natural products.

ET: Firstly, please share with us your insights about the purpose and values of Moa’s Ark?

Chloe:  Moa’s Ark aims to deliver nature’s ancient healing powers to a modern world through a wide range of sustainably sourced products. We aim to be leaders in natural quality therapies inspired by the New Zealand way of life, and want to redefine health and wellbeing for people and their families. In an increasingly busy world, people are compromising their health and wellbeing. We believe people can benefit greatly by slowing down and embracing the natural world. Our passion is to encourage people to reconnect with nature through our natural, safe, and healthy therapies.

ET: You are scaling up several of your brands; what are you doing differentially post-Covid?

Chloe: Correct, Moa’s Ark has gained an equity position and/or a sales and distribution role with a range of Kiwi brands, including: Nuibay (, Plantae (, Oasis Beauty (, and Oxygen Skincare ( We are also creating a new brand, Lycocelle, a fragrance free laundry product for women who hand wash their lingerie.

Post-Covid, we have new in-house shared services teams at our Parnell office who support all brands to accelerate gross revenues whilst reducing the net cost to serve. The shared service teams focus on three core areas:

(i) New product development, at a faster pace with higher commercialsation rates to capture ever-evolving consumer trends,

(ii) Digital content creation for both Western and Eastern social media platforms to drive better quality and more affordable paid media,

(iii) Brand activation via social media platforms with live-streaming, key opinion leaders, including a permanent live-streaming studio. Covid-19 has accelerated consumer engagement via live-stream and e-commerce; we aim to efficiently leverage this trend across all brands.

ET: Post-Covid, how is the consumer perception of New Zealand evolving?

Chloe: We sense that the overall trust afforded by consumers to ‘brand New Zealand’ has only increased across our key international markets. This includes positioning around quality, safety, and continuity of product supply. Most of our brands are licensed users of the Fernmark and leverage NZ Story brand assets. Our expectation is that this will only continue.  Consumers, particular for Nuibay as a premium sheep’s milk brand, wish to understand traceability to source and the safety standards that have been adopted throughout the value-chain. Ongoing support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) during in-market activation will also be very important post-Covid.

ET: Post-Covid, how are overseas distributor relationships holding up?

Chloe: Whilst most of our growth will come from international markets, we first aim to shore up domestic distribution. Although tourism is suspended, we only see this as medium-term.  The New Zealand government has achieved control of Covid-19. Inbound tourism from key regions such as Australia, America and Asia will return. The ranging of brands through New Zealand will be as important as ever when building brand awareness and trust with consumers, residents and visitors alike.

Strategic external investors in Moa’s Ark underpin our sales and distribution relationships, particularly with China.  We have three core investors that support sales and distribution via daigou social commerce, tourism, e-commerce (cross-border and domestic), as well as general trade. The trust and collaboration resulting from this strategic investment provides the entire team with great confidence that growth goals can be achieved. This is particularly so when international travel and face-to-face meetings are not possible.

ET: Clearly, very exciting times at Moa’s Ark, what successful case studies can you share?

Chloe: Selected examples of success during the Covid-19 period include Nuibay, which rapidly achieved 10,000 units sold at an RSP of NZD$125 p/unit, a pleasing result for a newly launched premium sheep’s milk brand.  Plantae has seen the development and quick-fire launch of a new soap SKU.  In the past few weeks approximately 200,000 units of the new Plantae soap were sold in China via general trade on the Alibaba Taobao platform through over 50 high-performing Taobao C2C stores. Oasis Beauty has seen five new SKU developed in double-quick time with 50SPF rating, more softness and less oil. Key opinion leaders have been engaged to activate Oasis Beauty via social commerce daigou channels. 

Meanwhile, Lycocelle is launching in June and we are planning for an initial 200,000 in unit sales.

ET: When do you see international markets returning to pre-Covid consumption levels?

Chloe: That’s the million-dollar question! Rising unemployment rates in America are a great concern, but we know from past economic crises that Americans are very hard working, resilient and they will bounce back as consumers. and engagement with their Prime members remains front-of-mind. is also making inroads in Australia and the United Kingdom, which opens up further e-commerce opportunities. Australia’s lockdown approach has upheld essential economic activity and consumer confidence. China is tracking well towards a U-shape recovery and we will be campaigning hard on both  6:18 and 11:11.

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Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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