Starting a coffee related export business... Out of Asia

mr he

New member
Oct 6, 2004
7
0
Taiwan
Hello everybody :D

I am new to this forum, and hope that this will be the start of a long posting career. Currently working out of Taiwan, where I have lived for a few years.

I started out in the coffee industry some 18 months ago, joining a small taiwanese upstart wanting to market a commercial espresso machine globally. While promoting this, I from time to time got asked about other items, with coffee bags and laminate roll stock popping up quite often.

As the sales of the espresso machine failed to take off, my mindset got increasingly set on finding a good range of coffee related products I could market to western customers in Taiwan. I decided to start with coffee bags and roll stock, as many of those are made in Taiwan already and sold thru US trading companies.

After a short search, I managed to locate some good coffeebag and laminate foil producers, who were interested in cooperating with me and who had a record of producing to international markets.

My competitive advantages are that I am close to the producers, which mean that QC is easy, and so is it to get decent pricing out of them. The disadvantages are that I am a bit far from my customers, and well, it's hard to mae a sales call when you are 10,000 miles away. Also, I am relatively new, and my network is not very strong yet.

I focus on mid size roasters and above. Everything I do is custom made and printed, with even the sizes of the bags as requested by the customer.

I started out in May, and have seen the first orders go out to Australia, with near term also seeing a European roaster ordering.

However, the US market has been somewhat harder to get into, and I would like to hear what kinds of ideas for marketing my advantages, the fellow members of this forum have.

So, what I hope I can get a bit of advice on is:

1. Traditional email shots don't really work anymore. You end up in the spam folder, no matter how personal you make the email.
2. Confidence is a problem. People are used to buy from their usual suppliers, and I need a way to teach people that ordering directly from abroad is safe, it's cheaper, and you get a product more closely tailored to your needs.

Any opinions are welcome.

(Oh, I have not posted a link to my web site here - after all I ask for advice, I am not solicting business on this board).
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
3,724
11
Boca Raton
I might be interesed in doing some biz with you....I checked out your web-site and think you have the bags we use..We use 8oz. valve bags with the zip lock like top...we only use black bags...and go through somewhere around 100,000 a month....could you email me?
 
OP
M

mr he

New member
Oct 6, 2004
7
0
Taiwan
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  • #3
Wauww, thanks for the interest topher. You have been emailed, and I hope it will be the start of something good. :D

When it comes to US marketing, I am mulling different ideas... The first is basically a sales trip, coupled with a stand at coffefest or a SCAA show, but that will have to wait for at least a few months. Emails well.. it generates a few hits, but well... Building credibility takes time.

One idea I have is to smailmail a catalogue and some samples out, but making it look different.

Any other ideas?
 

db

New member
Oct 6, 2004
3
0
UK
You're right about email marketing. It's about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike these days, unless the recipient has you white-listed. And that's if they've invited the contact. If they haven't, you'd be spamming them.

As far as marketing in the US is concerned, my suggestion is that you consider joint venturing - achieving credibility by association via partnerships with a few Known Names in the marketing world.

I have some contacts in that world. If you're interested, you're welcome to email me. (I invite you :grin: )
 
OP
M

mr he

New member
Oct 6, 2004
7
0
Taiwan
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  • #5
Parthering up with someone high profile in the local markets is a good idea, and something I have been considering before.

I hae emailed you, and look forward to hear from you. :-D
 
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