Five key takeaways from our webinar on planning your international expansion

Fuller Landau team • June 06, 2024

Fuller Landau recently co-hosted a webinar with Export Development Canada (EDC) titled “Global food and beverage: Planning your international expansion”.

The webinar included a fireside chat with Rosanna Lamanna, Partner, Audit and Accounting, Fuller Landau LLP, Ashley Kanary, Director, Global Agri-Food, EDC, and Jessica Russell, Senior Relationship Manager, EDC. They discussed topics such as expansion strategies to enter a new market or expand operations, sharing your expansion plan with your lender, and navigating financing options.

Here are five key takeaways:

1. Challenges and mitigation strategies: There are many risks associated with international expansion, including market unfamiliarity, regulatory compliance, and financing hurdles. One of the biggest challenges found with food and beverage businesses looking to expand is the lack of market connections abroad. Market research, insurance to cover contract cancellation, sourcing local partnerships, and understanding trade agreements are all essential steps to take before entering new international markets. It is important to look for countries with a good reputation for food safety and regulatory compliance such as the US, EU, and Australia.

2. Growth planning and financing: It is essential to have a growth plan in order to secure financing for expansion initiatives. Partners like EDC can play a big role in working with lenders to help you access working capital and support you in growing your business. Companies are advised to treat external partners, such as financial institutions, trade commissioners, and advisory services, as allies and to involve them early in business planning and decision-making processes to ensure success.

3. Private label trends: There is a growing trend of private label, meaning products sold under a retailer’s own brand. This trend has been driven by consumer preferences for paying closer attention to overall value, like price per ounce, a preference for clean ingredients, and mitigating inflation pressures. Private label may be a competitive advantage for companies and typically contribute to higher profit margins.

4. Importance of ESG compliance: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices are becoming increasingly important for companies of all sizes, not only for regulatory compliance but also for attracting investors, partners, and customers. ESG compliance can help companies minimize non-financial related risks and may even improve access to capital.

5. Emphasis on preparation and homework: Successful international expansion requires thorough research, planning, and preparation. Doing one’s homework and having a clear strategy are seen as critical factors for success.

Overall, the webinar provides valuable insights and guidance for food and beverage companies considering international expansion, covering various aspects from market analysis to regulatory compliance, risk mitigation, and financing strategies.

Watch the on-demand replay now to learn more.


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