Export growth brewing for Northumberland firm

Date of release: March 2013


Fentimans Ltd, of Hexham, specialises in the production of a range of botanically brewed soft drinks and cocktail mixers, using a simple process involving herbs and plant roots. Export growth is breweing for the Northumberland firm with the help of UK Trade & Investment

A family business, the company was launched by Thomas Fentiman in 1905, who produced botanically brewed ginger beer using a unique recipe he was given as security for a loan made to a fellow tradesman that was never repaid.

Originally deliveries were made door-to-door using a horse and cart, but Fentimans’ wide range of drinks, which includes Traditional Ginger Beer, Victorian Lemonade, Curiosity Cola and Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger, are now widely available in shops, bars and restaurants across the UK and beyond.

The growing popularity of the drinks has inspired the company to explore new markets and it signed up to UKTI’s Passport to Export scheme and its Gateway to Global Growth (G3) initiative to help identify and make the most of overseas opportunities.

Alongside these initiatives, it also utilised UKTI’s Virtual Export Manager (VEM) scheme during 2011 through the enlisted support of Piero Alberici. This enabled Fentimans to explore a large selection of overseas markets.

Tiffany McKirdy, Operations Director at Fentimans Ltd, explained:

“As a result of this initiative, Fentimans is now exporting to 20 new markets including Belgium, Italy and all of Scandinavia. Sales growth in these export markets is now outstripping that being achieved in the UK.”

Jeff Bean, one of UK Trade & Investment’s International Trade Advisers, said:

“Food and Drink represents the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and even in this economic downturn, exports are continuing to grow, month on month, year on year.

“The main recipients of UK food and drink exports continue to be mature markets such as the USA, Canada and the EU. However, developing markets such as the Gulf States and Asia are opening up some excellent opportunities for exporters.

For more information about the wide range of support services available through UK Trade & Investment to help your company succeed overseas call the North East International Trade Hotline on 0845 05 05 054 or email: enquiries@uktinortheast.org.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/UKTINorthEast.

UK Trade and Investment is delivered in the North East by RTC North, the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) and the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC). To find out more information about UKTI click here.

Author: Rebecca Davis at RTC North

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