Gü Brings Sweet Success for James Averdieck
The UK food and drink export industry has gone into overdrive. Figures released for the first half of 2008 showed that international demand for British produce abroad has never been greater. Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Food from Britain Export Awards this week. More than 60 of the UK’s top food and drink companies entered to be in with a chance of winning one of the organisation’s prestigious awards.
But it was premium dessert manufacturer, Gü Chocolate Puds, founded by James Averdieck in 2003, that walked away with the top gong on the day. Not content with scooping the New Exporter of the Year Award, sponsored by UK Trade and Investment, Gü Chocolate Puds also went on to be crowned the overall Food and Drink Exporter of the Year 2008.
Surprising, perhaps, that a company so new to the world of exporting could have such success, but Gü can boast of creating a whole new dessert concept in France, the home of patisserie – which understandably impressed the judges! Bravely turning down an early opportunity to be listed in national French supermarkets in favour of building the brand on a regional scale, Gü’s gamble paid off when two years later they were listed nationwide after building a loyal base of customers who loved their super-premium desserts.
Fiona Fitzpatrick from Gü enthused: “We are absolutely overjoyed at receiving both awards, but it is truly a special honour to be crowned overall ‘Food and Drink Exporter of the Year’. When we started exporting our desserts we never imagined we would have such incredible success – particularly in a country like France, which has such a strong patisserie tradition. However, we were confident that the French had never seen anything like our products and would love them when they did – although we made sure we did our homework and stuck to our strategy, in spite of temptations to rush ahead.”
John Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Food from Britain, commented: “We are thrilled to give the Food and Drink Exporter of the Year Award to our newest exporter. Gü’s story embodies everything that the Food from Britain Export Awards are about. They are living proof that export success doesn’t necessarily require years of experience; you need to do your research, establish your strategy and stick to it. The company’s application made all the judges sit up and take notice; their intelligent and insightful approach has brought them huge and well-deserved success. Gü’s exports now total almost a quarter of sales, and its customers’ loyalty shows no signs of fading: its initial test store in France, La Grande Epicerie de Paris, is still the highest selling store amongst all of its customers.”
John continued: “With the French so particular about their patisseries, it is no mean feat to introduce an indulgent dessert range to the country and make such a resounding success of it, and it’s for this reason that Gü was chosen as the overall winner this year – congratulations!”
The full list of all the winners at this years Food from Britain Export Awards is as follows:
Food and Drink Exporter of the Year – Gü Chocolate Puds
Drink Exporter of the Year – Britvic International
Innovation in Export Award – Mangajo
Best New Exhibitor – Eat Natural
SME Food Exporter – Gourmet’s Choice
Large Food Exporter – Randall Parker Foods
New Exporter of the Year – Gü Chocolate Puds
New Welsh Exporter of the Year – Hurns Brewing Company
New Scottish Exporter of the Year – The Speyside Glenlivet Company
New Northern Irish Exporter of the Year – Linwoods