R3D, which is listed on the ASX, is an investor and public relations firm. Horeca Marketplace, on the other hand is a part of logistics firm IM Holdings.
The partnership, which was sealed in early October, provides a one-stop solution to Australian brands which are seeking to expand overseas.
The services include market advisory, media distribution, and marketing services by R3D, while Horeca will offer an omni-channel that includes freight forwarding, warehousing, inventory, and e-commerce management.
Horeca Marketplace is already selling Australian food and beverage products via a host of platforms, including the online, offline, B2B, and B2C channels. Besides Australian products, it also sells food and beverages from Mexico, Italy, Taiwan and Philippines.
FoodNavigator-Asia spoke to Alan Tang and Stefan Ho who are both directors of Horeca Marketplace to find out more about their cooperation plans with R3D.
“SEA is where the market is growing. We have a population of 600 million in SEA,” Tang said when explaining why they wanted to expand the market presence of Australian products in SEA.
Ho pointed out that the developed economies saw the highest demand for Australian products, while the rate of growth was fastest in developing countries, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.
“More sophisticated markets would have highest demand, but as these markets are opening up, these countries (developing economies) are seeing a higher growth in demand,” he said.
“Cambodia has a very high demand for wine, with strong demand for Australian brands,” he added.
Australian products currently comprise 10% - 15% of all food products offered by Horeca, and it now plans to focus on growing key product categories.
Honey, muesli, and vacuum-packed beef are some of the key categories that Horeca intends to further introduce in the SEA region.
Both R3D and Horeca Marketplace believe that the partnership will provide a win-win solution for both manufacturers and consumers.
For consumers, a greater range of Australian products will be made available, while Australian manufacturers can expand their overseas presence at a lower cost.
“Australian products sell by itself. When you put the word Australia on the product, everyone is going to like it,” Tang said.
“However, if each of them expand on their own, it is going to be very expensive, so not matter how good the product is, it is going to be very expensive. But when we come together, we can bring down the cost,” he explained.
“Our experience is that Australian brands want to grow but they don’t know how to do it…They needed to find their own way, sign up for booths, go for shows and after that they are on their own,” Florence Fang, CEO of R3D added.
Under the partnership, products will be shipped from Australia into Singapore, and subsequently shipped and sold in other parts of SEA.