A GROUP of SA food and beverage businesses are celebrating a special export partnership, with the first shipment of products leaving Adelaide today.
The partnership is with Texas-based premium grocery retailer Central Market, following the SA government establishing a trade office in Houston, and delivering a virtual pitching program run in partnership with Food SA.
Central Market has 10 specialty grocery stores throughout Texas and is a sub-brand of HEB, which comprises 340 stores and a revenue of US$29 billion a year.
Between August and October last year, 19 SA companies presented their products to Central Market through 20-minute virtual pitch meetings, after which nine were selected to feature their products on the shelves of the Central Market stores from June this year.
A consolidated container carrying about US$150,000 in first orders left Adelaide today bound for Texas.
Trade and Investment Minister Stephen Patterson said the virtual pitch meetings have proven to be an innovative and efficient way for companies to continue to explore new export deals around the world at a time when international travel is still off the table.
"As the saying goes, everything's bigger in Texas, and this Central Market program in partnership with Food SA has the potential to be a lucrative partnership where SA specialty food exporters can present their products and sell into Texas, US," he said.
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Food SA chief executive Catherine Sayer said it was so important to have a streamlined system in place to open new markets.
"We worked closely with the Texas-based State Government office, found an importer in the US and then a consolidator in Adelaide so the products will all get there in the most efficient way - all the cogs in the wheel were important to lead to this great opportunity with Central Market," she said.
Beerenberg is shipping its 'Random Acts of Flavour' range to the US, which includes spicy relishes, fruity chutneys and sweet-heat jams.
"Central Market gives us the opportunity to explore the Texas market which we have long thought offers huge opportunity for premium brands," Beerenberg marketing director Sally Paech said.
"Our goal as we developed a range designed especially for the US market, is to have one container a week leaving the Adelaide Hills bound for the US market."
The State Government and Food SA will continue to work with Central Market to identify specialty food and other categories, including wine and beverages, to be pitched in the future.
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