Harraways oats has Hong Kong appeal

Harraways chief executive Stuart Hammer (left) and sales manager Rodney Johnston with a package...
Harraways chief executive Stuart Hammer (left) and sales manager Rodney Johnston with a package of the branded product being sent to Hong Kong. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Two container-loads of Harraways-branded oat products will soon leave for Hong Kong in a significant trial order with a privately-owned large retail chain in the territory.

The order is expected on Hong Kong shelves within four weeks.

Harraways chief executive Stuart Hammer said the buyer of the product was in Australia and decided to visit New Zealand to look at a large retail shop.

''He was in Christchurch having a look around and picked up our product. He said: `This is what I want' and nursed it like a baby.''

The Hong Kong buyer made contact with Harraways' New Zealand agent who approached the Green Island company with the proposal to supply two full containers in new packaging for Hong Kong, Mr Hammer said.

The new packaging was designed in a bit of a rush and Harraways started producing the order last week. It was loaded on Tuesday and yesterday mornings.

The two containers held 50 tonnes of product, which Mr Hammer described as ''quite significant'' for the company.

Harraways sales manager Rodney Johnston visited both China and Hong Kong last year to meet prospective buyers and consolidated the Hong Kong order while he was there.

Mr Johnston did a presentation on the products, emphasising they were New Zealand-grown and the ''clean, green'' image of the locally-sourced products.

''Hong Kong is a large market with significant potential for us,'' Mr Johnston said.

Mr Hammer said the Hong Kong retailer modelled itself on ''great quality'' and value for money. The format entailed the products being placed on the shelves and if it sold, it sold. He was hopeful the Harraways products would prove popular with shoppers.

''This is a sizeable first for the company and an exciting opportunity for the future.''

Harraways already exported to Hong Kong but in nowhere near the size of the latest order.

In a further significant achievement for Harraways in the local market, it had been recently rated the top brand in the hot breakfast cereal category, he said.

Harraways now commanded a sizeable local New Zealand market value dollar share of 38.6%, according to the Aztec retail statistics released earlier this month, Mr Hammer said.

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