Harrogate Spring Water, Britain’s oldest bottled water brand, has landed its first deals in the US – a ground-breaking move for the company.
The Harrogate-based bottled water firm has secured an order from Central Market, which has ten stores across Texas. Harrogate Spring will also be distributed by The Chef’s Warehouse, a speciality food distributor with 15 stores across the US and Canada.
The deals were secured after the company received support from the Food is GREAT campaign, a cross-departmental campaign between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT).
International Trade Advisers (ITAs) from DIT introduced the company to US buyers, who were visiting firms across Yorkshire in September last year.
The company is also expanding its exports to the Middle East after attending Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and drink trade show, in Dubai last year. Initial face-to-face meetings enabled the business to connect with buyers and continue building these relationships back in the UK.
Harrogate Spring Water currently exports to Vietnam, Russia, Spain, Poland and Barbados. It also supplies still and sparkling water to major international airlines including Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Jet2, TUI and EasyJet.
The business is now working with ITAs to research new markets, including Japan, and is hoping to grow its exports by 20% over the next five years.
Greg Hatton, Export and Business Development Manager at Harrogate Spring Water, said: “We started exporting ten years ago, and thanks to Defra and DIT’s help, our overseas sales are going from strength to strength.
“The support we’ve received from the Food is GREAT campaign, which includes attending trade missions like Gulfood, has been invaluable. We were able to meet potential buyers and understand their market more clearly by speaking directly to them.
“Our ITAs have helped us find new markets and bridge any regulatory barriers required to export to them. For example, when selling to the US, we must ensure our labels meet health-specific regulations.
“We’ve also learnt that as the oldest bottled water brand in the UK, dating back to 1571 and first bottled in 1740, our heritage appeals to overseas consumers.
“There’s so much support available, and great interest in British products from customers in other countries. I’d encourage anyone thinking of expanding their exports, or learning more about the process, to get in touch with their local DIT office.”
Mark Robson, Head of Region – Yorkshire and the Humber, at DIT, said: “Harrogate Spring Water’s exporting success is testament to a strong growth plan and effective use of the support available from our team here in Yorkshire.
“The firm has been working closely with our ITAs on the ground to tap into new markets and learn how to overcome barriers, such as adapting product labels, resulting in extremely successful export wins.
“We have a number of exporting opportunities available for food and drink companies. I’d urge any business thinking of exporting to get in touch with our team to find out how we can support. If a firm like Harrogate Spring can enjoy continued success in new overseas markets, then others should seriously consider exporting too.”