A Borehamwood company that has manufactured high quality chocolate and biscuit tins for 25 years has become a big hit in the Far East.
Sweet tins in the shape of phone boxes and buses made by Churchill’s Confectionery are becoming a common sight on the shelves of some of Japan’s most elegant shops.
Begun as a small independent business in 1989 by Allan Bodnitz, the Stirling Way company now exports its products across Europe, Asia and America.
The company has been working closely with UK Trade and Investment, (UKTI), the Government’s exporting department, to expand its reach overseas.
In the past eight months, it has generated more than £60,000 of revenue in Japan and is seeing products stocked in international department store chain Mitsukoshi.
Export sales manager Laurence Montrognon has worked closely with UKTI to expand Churchill’s existing international connections and increase the number of orders.
The partnership has enabled her to find distributors in Japan through carrying out interviews at the British Embassy, and has helped it tailor its products to new markets including South Korea.
She said: “Our trade advisor, Martin Keepfer, is always there when I need to call with a query or to ask for some advice about our next steps.
“Not only is UKTI East committed to helping Churchill’s succeed overseas, but they have the knowledge and expertise to enable us to do exactly that.”
With UKTI support, Churchill’s Confectionery has secured £150,000 to £200,000 of revenue across a number of international markets over the past twelve months.
Mr Bodnitz said: “I’m delighted to say that our experience of working with UKTI has been extremely positive.
“The training they provide, and their network of overseas contacts, has been very beneficial in speeding up the process of exploring new markets and sourcing new distributors.”
A spokesman for UKTI said: “We hope the example set by Churchill’s might help other businesses in the region to discover that there are some great resources available that can help them to do likewise.”