The crowning glory for Grimsby’s grocery exporter
TAKING THE BISCUIT, ABROAD: The new brand being launched by Ramsden International. Top right, Sean Ramsden.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 9 Oct 2017
GRIMSBY-based Ramsden International is launching its own grocery brand in a move that will make it even easier for the company to export.
The multi-award winning team, renowned for expertise in selling Britain’s best branded grocery products to 130 countries worldwide, has brought forward its own label to send overseas.
Kingsbury is the name, fitting for a Queen’s Award winner, and it has been recognised as giving strong indicators of its British roots in its design.
A total of 50 products are being launched within biscuits, confectionery, popcorn, crisps and snacks categories, all of which are produced by third parties.
The entire Kingsbury range is suitable for international territories and each product has multi-language translation on the back of the pack which is fully compliant with all legislation in each market.
Sean Ramsden, chief executive of the Adam Smith Street firm, said: “It gives Ramsden a product that is export compliant already.
“By being able to control the formulation of the product, the ingredients, the packaging, the technical information and documentation, we will end up with a product we can get into the market much easier.”
It comes as he and the £50-million turnover business are nominated for a further run of major awards. Sean is shortlisted for Family Business Awards 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year; Entrepreneur of the Year in the Amazon Growing Business Awards and – in a double-listing – Inspirational Leader and Entrepreneur of the Year in the UK Business Awards.
The wider business is also in contention for the Export Business of the Year award from the British Chambers of Commerce.
Richard Collins, trading and marketing director at Ramsden International, said there was a lot for judges to recognise.
“The business is going very well,” he said. “We are a lot more skilled and have a lot more expertise in the business than people may anticipate – it is not just about selling baked beans.
“We have expanded with offices in six countries – we now have a presence in Johannesburg, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Toronto and Dubai. Having people on the ground there is far better for us, it works very well because they can see the customer. Then we have a team of 22 customer service advisers in Grimsby who speak 16 different languages.
“We have 23,500 product lines yet we are a stockless model, it makes it quite unique. We deal with documentation, re-labelling, re-packing. We ship by air, sea and road, and we are getting much more experienced in the whole category management. We are a customer partner that can be relied on.”
Double digit growth is being maintained, while seasonal growth around confectionery is “particularly encouraging”. Chocolate is the fourth biggest food and drink export.
“We are now shipping our Christmas order book, which closed in July, and we are seeing a 14 per cent year on year increase in sales,” Mr Collins said. “We started talking Christmas in April, and Easter at the end of August, We’ll start shipping that in December, and it is looking like a 20 per cent increase.”
This has been a prime driver in a move to relocate the company’s reprocessing warehouse from Grimsby’s Spencer Street to Scunthorpe’s Normanby Road. “We simply needed somewhere bigger to get the products through,” Mr Collins said. “It is now within a mile of our main supplier, Nisa, and that helps get goods in and out.”
Free trade post-Brexit to continue as it is in the EU’s best interests
MANAGEMENT at Ramsden International believe free trade will prevail when Brexit arrives, simply because the EU would have more to lose.
Sales and marketing director, Richard Collins, said: “The fact that we import far more product from Europe than we export to Europe suggests free trade will still be available.
“Sean and I cannot see them closing the shutters and making it more difficult. We are such a big importer.”
Globally, trade deals are buoying the business too. “Recently Canada opened up free trade and we are starting to see the benefit of that now.
“We opened the Toronto office in March, so it has been very timely for us, and will certainly help us sell more products in to Canada and North America.”
A seven-strong team deal with compliance issues when it comes to labelling and documentation, with the “same level of information” required whether there is a trade deal or not, Mr Collins added.
Rapid rise sees fellow town firm join Ramsden in national awards
RAPID RISE: Directors Linda Anderson-Smith, Karl Hedison and Rebecca Anderson-Smith.
ASHBY-cum-Fenby’s Rapid Accommodation will join Ramsden International at The Brewery, London, next month for the British Chambers of Commerce bash.
Both won respective categories in the regional heats, allowing them to move up to the national level.
Rapid, the business stay specialist, is in the running for High Growth, having gone from £250,000 to £1.9 million turnover in the past year.
It recently secured major new work with renowned organisations in the renewables and petrochemical industries, and has gone from three directors to a team of 11.
Director Karl Hedison said it is already ahead of a £4 million target for this year. “It is nice to be recognised on a larger stage,” he said.
“We have started doing our first European and global bookings so to have a national profile to back you up is really beneficial.”
Mr Hedison said there was a perception that if you are not based in London or a big city, you may not have the capability. “This really helps,” he added.