The Great British Food Store, delivered in association with Regroup China and Elanders, is a new cross-border eCommerce solution that allows established UK food and drink brands to test the market in China by selling on WeChat - the platform where 40% of all Chinese eCommerce takes place.
Introducing the Great British Food Store
The Great British Food Programme team have teamed up with Regroup China, a digital marketing agency which specialises in Chinese cross-border eCommerce, and Elanders, an award-winning logistics company with expertise in getting your products safely into China, to create a simple and convenient international sales solution – The Great British Food Store.
Launching a food and drink brand in China can be an expensive, complex experience. Our one-stop solution removes many of these risks and frustrations by eliminating setup costs and managing the market-entry process. Simply put – it’s getting your products into China practically free of charge!
How does it work?
The Great British Food Store will act as an incubator to connect the best of UK food and drink produce with over 300 million daily active Chinese consumers, opening the gateway to a lucrative new B2C sales stream and the opportunity to export to China with minimum fuss. Once consistent sales have been realised there will be the option to move off of this market-entry platform in order to increase shipment volumes and to set up new agreements with preferred partners.
Why sell on WeChat?
First released in 2011, WeChat is China’s most popular messaging app with more than 1 billion users. Whilst it started out as a messaging service similar to WhatsApp, WeChat has since transformed into an all-in-one mobile ‘super-app’ with integrated features such as video and voice calling, games and a QR code scanner.
Moreover, let’s not forget, the advanced payment system - WeChat Pay – where users can connect with their bank accounts and purchase everyday goods with a simple click from their phone. WeChat is now an eCommerce giant, capable of connecting ambitious international brands to Chinese consumers in just a few clicks.
What are WeChat Mini Programs?
The biggest evolution of WeChat came in early 2017 with the introduction of Mini Programs, bringing eCommerce capability to the forefront of the app. Mini programs are best described as ‘apps within an app’ - imagine WhatsApp, Amazon and Instagram integrated into a single mobile app.
WeChat users spent US$115 billion through mini-programs in 2019, a 160% increase from the previous year. Mini programs already allow for all kinds of functions, including renting bicycles and buying concert tickets, but it’s grocery and alcohol sales that are now seeing real growth as China’s demand for high quality overseas produce grows year-on-year.
For UK brands wishing to test the waters in China, a WeChat mini program is the ideal vehicle to build brand awareness, assess market demand and act as a route to drive international sales.
For the initial set of UK brands joining the Great British Food Store, there are no registration or setup costs. All that will be expected of you is to supply a trial run of stock to be listed on the store, with the range and quantity of SKUs to be agreed upon application. Please note, in the unlikely event that certain stock does not sell on the Great British Food Store then we will be unable to return these items to you. But we don’t anticipate this happening.
Once your products are listed on the Great British Food Store in WeChat, Regroup China will work with in-market influencers to market the store and your products in order to generate sales. They have a great track record in supporting many British brands to launch and grow in China via WeChat mini-programs, generating consistent sales growth for likes of Haymans of London and The British House.
Shipping and Logistics
Elanders have been brought on board to deal with the shipping and logistics of getting your products over to China, as well as advising on labelling and packaging requirements.
Intellectual Property (IP) is also an important consideration when first selling into China. To help avoid any problems in this area you will be referred to IP specialists who will advise on the best course of action. Please bear in mind that there are additional costs associated with registering trademarks in China and it is up to you as a company whether or not you choose to pursue and fund this activity. Our trusted associates will help audit your IP and file applications to protect your trademarks from as little as £750 +VAT.
All payments from customer sales on the store will first be received by Business West, as store owners, before being distributed back to you minus 7% for admin fees, at the beginning of each calendar month.
How to get involved
If you would like to be considered for inclusion on the Great British Food Store please complete the expression of interest webform at the foot of this page. Once your expression of interest has been received, a member of the Great British Food Programme team will review your application and will be in touch to discuss next steps.