February 18 2019 – Kevin Smith
A Hull-based manufacturer of low-sugar protein snacks is aiming to double exports over the next 12 months to about 30 per cent of its total sales.
Battle Oats has increased its focus on the Middle East since attending Gulfood, in Dubai, the world's largest food trade show. Distributors in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are now sending orders.
Longer-term, the company is also targeting the US market. To start this process, it joined a trade mission to San Francisco, supported by the Food is GREAT campaign - an initiative by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to help UK food and drink businesses sell their goods and services overseas.
Battle Oats has also received support from government trade advisers in Yorkshire and the Humber, who helped with regulatory challenges relating to exporting, such as obtaining the correct paperwork required for exporting to the Middle East.
Kevin Smith, co-founder at Battle Oats, said: "While we've only been exporting for a short while, it's been brilliant to see how receptive overseas buyers have been to our products. A large part of this is simply because we're a British company. We've even had requests to put the Union Jack on our packaging because consumers in some countries really revere UK products.
"The Middle East in particular presents a great opportunity for us. It's a huge market and we've enjoyed doing business there. It's very quick paced in comparison to other markets, and it is good for our cash flow as customers are happy to pay up front."
Battle Oats was established in 2014 and employs seven staff. Since shipping its first order overseas in 2015, the business now exports to 15 countries around the globe. It has also secured contracts with a wholesaler that supplies armed forces stationed in Germany.