February 23, 2021

Export Recovery Series | Around The World | November Update


With so much happening in the USA and the UK right now, this month’s Around the World Update webinar was a much needed reminder that chaos is only temporary and there are still many opportunities for New Zealand exporters. 

Our panel was made up of five amazing industry experts, who gave us beyond the headlines clarity of the current state of three key export markets. 

Overall, there was an overwhelming sense of energy and optimism as key markets appear to have stabilised and demand in some previously hit sectors has increased. Food service appears to be thriving in China again, however struggling in the USA (excluding fast food restaurants).

Brand New Zealand is still being looked upon very positively around the globe, however our experts cautioned upon becoming too complacent on relying on this, reminding exporters they need a strong, clear value proposition to combat ‘buy local’ trends in some markets.

Here is a summary looking at what is happening on the ground in the USA, UK, and China. 

The UK Environment

Peter Gillingwater, CEO of Newfound - UK

  • Brexit is more or less a done deal, the UK will not have to park trucks back up to Kent.
  • Keep an eye out for opportunities for exporters coming into the UK across multiple sectors.
  • FTA clarity expected to be a couple of months away, potentially Q1 or Q2.
  • Even with flight corridors and borders closed, you still need to do your homework, work with trade organisations.
  • The UK has a healthy investor landscape and there is more money being raised all the time.

The USA Marketplace

Guy Horrocks, Co-founder at Solve - East & West Coast of the USA

  • People have been more risk averse and there has been more scrutiny of pre-revenue or early stage revenue companies raising capital in the market.
  • Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) revenue has expanded, offsetting declines in wholesale and B2B sales.

Richard Shirtcliffe, Co-CEO of Noho - Colorado, USA

  • America is really two countries - Red America and Blue America. 
  • Social unrest, financial insecurity for people with the CARES Act ending, and electioneering contributing to make the US very chaotic right now, and very difficult to navigate. 
  • RNC and DNC political advertising in September increased the cost of ads, reduced the impact of ads, and made it harder for brands to get reach.
  • DTC is a powerful way to enter the US, but narrow your ad spend to areas most attuned to the way New Zealanders think and do business, the East Coast and the West Coast. 
  • ‘Red’ areas of the US embracing Trump’s version of nationalism - buy local, don’t buy these horrible foreign brands.

David Nelley, VP Major Account Sales at Apeel Sciences - California, USA 

  • Business is booming in grocery - retailers are making money ‘hand over fist’ and the supply chain is back to a steady state. However it is not looking so good for the food service sector, fast food being the exception.
  • There’s a lot of capital floating around in the US right now.
  • There is a real opportunity for leadership out of New Zealand, anything coming out of New Zealand right now is seen on a bit of a pedestal.

On the Ground in China

Hunter McGregor, Managing Director, Rata Food - Shanghai, China 

  • China is ‘back to normal’ with the economy ‘tracking along nicely’. 
  • People are back opening up restaurants, reinvesting in office buildings.
  • 2020 Singles Day will be massive again - Predicted to be up 20-30% and break the records again. 
  • Everyone in the food service sector inside China that managed to survive is now doing very well.
  • There is a real pressure on price and more compliance, COVID-19 testing. Chinese consumers want safe, trusted products but they are not prepared to pay for traceability. 
  • China is a challenging environment but there are still plenty of opportunities.

Watch the full webinar replay for more market insights and opportunities from our panel of industry experts. For further links and information, see the resources section below.


Our November Around the World Update webinar was facilitated by Hamish Conway, Managing Director, Sell Global, and Andy Mitchell, Growth Strategist, Katabolt with special guests:

  • Hunter McGregor, Managing Director of Rata Food (China)
  • Richard Shirtcliffe, Co-CEO of Noho (Colorado, USA)
  • Peter Gillingwater, CEO of Newfound (UK)
  • David Nelley, VP Major Account Sales at Apeel Sciences (California, USA)
  • Guy Horrocks, Co-founder of Solve (East & West Coast of the USA)


NZTE - https://www.nzte.govt.nz/

myNZTE (register or log in for more information not visible on the NZTE website)- https://my.nzte.govt.nz/

Katabolt - https://www.katabolt.com/

Sell Global - https://sellglobal.co.nz/

The New Zealand China Council - https://nzchinacouncil.org.nz/

Export Essentials - https://www.exportessentials.nz/

Kea New Zealand - https://www.keanewzealand.com/

All the EXPORT RECOVERY PANEL Webinars from our series are available to watch here, alongside the key outtakes and resources from each.

The Export Recovery Series team would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our friends at Kea New Zealand and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, for helping to make these webinars possible. Thank you.