Kiddylicious: Healthy growth with Santander

Kiddylicious is the fastest growing brand in the children's snack category, and the only growth sector in the overall children's food market. The brand partners with major retailers and distributors, including major retailers in the UK and – for the past 18 months – a further 23 countries internationally.

Kiddylicious has taken full advantage of new markets, especially where the children’s snacking category is barely established. But creating a market overseas can bring challenges, especially where there are cultural differences between the home and overseas markets. This is why, according to Neil: “It’s vital to work with partners who really understand the market”. 

Taking the brand overseas 

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) introduced Kiddylicious to the Santander Breakthrough Trade Mission to Poland. 

Through Santander, Kiddylicious was put in touch with the British Polish Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) in Poland so it could set up targeted meetings before it arrived. “We didn't want to spend hours going to the wrong meetings,” says Neil. Once on the trip, Neil was accompanied by a BPCC rep, who guided him through local business culture and acted as translator in addition to Santander hosts.

Neil describes Poland as a difficult market for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). “It’s price-sensitive and distribution is fragmented. However, with disposable incomes on the increase, it’s now becoming an attractive market.”  

Mission accomplished

As a result of the Santander Trade Mission Kiddylicious has agreed sales and the company has now “pretty much” agreed a partner, too. 

“This trip was particularly well organised, Santander ensured all logistical aspects went smoothly, particularly in terms of transport and making sure attendees got to meetings on time, and BPCC played a major role in delivering relevant meetings. That ensured it was a good Trade Mission.”  says Neil

Neil’s Trade Mission Top Tips

  • Preparation is vital 

First, spend time with Santander, UKTI and the Chambers of Commerce to make sure they understand your brand. Second, take time to understand the market. This means finding out who the retailers, distributors and competitors are.  

  • Be very clear about who you want to meet 

We wanted to meet distributors we could partner with. The children's snack category is not well established in Poland so we were seeking distributors who would work closely with us as partners, helping us understand the market and establish the brand.  

  • Be prepared for meetings 

Make sure you know who the people are you’re meeting – and make sure you can pronounce their names. 

  • Be prepared to learn 

Ahead of the Trade Mission, I had said that national distribution in Poland wasn't an option for Kiddylicious because the market was fragmented on a regional basis. Based on our research, our expectation was that they would have to work with a number of distributors. However, during the Mission, I found that it was possible to strike a national distribution deal.

To be eligible for a subsidised Trade Mission Santander are looking for highly ambitious businesses who’ve been trading for a minimum of two years and have plans to increase their customer base, employ more people or expand to new markets in the next 12 months

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John Carroll - Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK