Industry News,

Delivering a UK Export Strategy in the Farm Shop Sector

For many Australian companies targeting export growth into the UK grocery sector, focusing on major retailers is often the goal. There’s a growing sector delivering premium products worthy of considerations to  unique FMCG businesses via the Farm Shop sector.

The UK Farm Shop sector has many comparisons and familiarities to the robust independent grocery sector in Australia. These are two key similarities needed to win your UK export strategy by differentiating on product offer and in-store customer service.

Supplying UK Farm Shop Grocery Sector for Your Growth Strategy

Two parcels of meat with fresh produce stuffed inside, sat on brown paper.

The Farm Shop community has exploded over recent years. Increasingly, the population focused on supporting local businesses and procuring locally-grown fresh produce have looked to their local Farm Shops to be a purveyor of fine or unique brands. Farm Shops also provide many products not generally available within the mainstream grocery sector.

The opportunity for Australian brands looking at strategic export opportunities into the UK—especially with the Free Trade Agreement—is the ability to introduce their brand into the premium market.

Two jars of Butter Bike Co peanut butter.

Initially, higher price points within the Farm Shop sector build customer awareness, generate interest and achieve more profit per unit sold before progressing into a major retail UK growth export strategy. This often results in a lower price point to reflect the higher volume opportunity (selling more units at a lower profit per unit, whilst growing top line sales).

In 2022, Harper Adams University estimated the Farm Shop sector to be growing through the delivery of a different customer experience with the UK market valued at over £1.4B. The sector gains recognition for employing over 25K people. Interestingly, this research also listed 1,581 farm shops operating in the UK, with a third of them opening since 2012.

A jar of Somerset mushrooms.

A best-in-class Farm Shop combines freshly prepared local produce, fine preserves or condiments, local alcohol and products that differentiate on origin, flavour or ingredients. Farm Shops often offer consumers the ability to dine in, enjoying meals made with in-season ingredients.

The successful delivery of in-store sampling and product knowledge plays an important part in customer engagement. This drives sales and provides great opportunities to inspire potential buyers through product experiences.

How to develop a UK supply chain to access the Farm Shop sector

Three bottles of Diddly Squat rapeseed oil in a wooden barn

For FMCG companies looking to supply into this channel with a UK export strategy, understanding the competitive landscape, pricing levels and key trends resonating with their consumers is, as always, a critical consideration. Through our in-market UK-based team, it’s a core service we can offer to our clients.

National and Regional Distribution for UK Growth Strategy

Many local UK suppliers deal directly with couriers or route vans. This builds relationships with individual owners and understanding future growth opportunities. Whilst other suppliers looking to reach a wider level of distribution within this sector access the network of well-established distributors managing a portfolio of products. They’ll supply regionally or nationally, feeding the Farm Shop sector with innovative products to support the differentiation experience.

Trade Shows

Attending trade shows, such as Speciality & Fine Food Fair or Farm Shop & Deli Show, utilises leading events to showcase your products and engage the trade. Trade shows also provide a way to meet your clientele and spread the message of your products.  This is best done through word-of-mouth, visibility and taste experiences.

In-Store Combination

Iconic food department stores, Harrods or Selfridges, built successful premium brand growth strategy by combining delis into their stores. This provides access to the Farm Shop sector with a proven approach creating brand value and recognition. Suppliers can then target the major national retailers with ease.

Prof. Consulting Group

Our team at Prof. can help you understand your UK growth strategy for premium or specialist products. To understand more, please contact us via: hello@profcg.co.uk or hello@profcg.com