Many platforms are available in Shanghai and competing for market share including Tmall, JD, Fields and City Shop.
“We do the classic route to market here and in Shanghai and I think we’ve got to do something different to capture the trend of people buying groceries online,” Hood says.
“We have to ask; how do we make ecommerce a larger part of our international strategy?”
Bulla has made a large investment in technology at its Colac facility in Victoria, with milk separation and skim milk concentrate plants as well as a state of the art innovation centre. This allows the company to bring more product development in-house and increase production output to meet rising market demand.
There is now a unique opportunity for Australian companies to strengthen relationships in Asia, during a time when the UK, EU and United States remain conflicted around their international trade objectives.
Bulla has a dedicated team in Victoria who manages exports to Asia and Hood has seen the value of employing the right staff at Bulla.
“You’ve got to have people on the ground,” he says. “That’s been a big lesson for us.”
“We’ve brought more of that capability in house to handle export demand. You can’t just rely on an agent to do it for you in a new market. It shows commitment when you get in there with your own people.”
Guy Thompson is a bluenotes contributor