British goods, including cakes, enjoy surge in demand, finds online marketplace

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British goods are in demand with an increase in online searches by small businesses around the world, according to Alibaba.com, the online marketplace for international buyers and sellers.

Alibaba reports its website experienced a phenomenal year-on-year increase in global searches for Diamond Jubilee memorabilia, and a year-on-year rise of 321% in global searches for Queen Elizabeth-related paraphernalia.

There is a global demand for products associated with Cool Britannia, the company said. Its data shows overall there was a 3% increase in global searches for British goods in Q1 2012 (Jan-Mar) compared to Q4 2011 (Oct-Dec). British motorcycles and British fashion are trending as some of the most searched terms on Alibaba.com, it added.

“This year is already shaping up to be a great one for British companies and it’s never been a better time to celebrate the Best of British, as the world’s eyes focus on our sporting and celebratory events,” said Molly Morgan, senior manager, international corporate affairs, Alibaba.com EMEA.

“Alibaba.com has seen dramatic upticks in online searches and enquiries from abroad for British goods since the Royal wedding, and this will continue to rise following the Diamond Jubilee and upcoming Olympics, providing our small businesses and economy a much needed boost.”

Alibaba.com’s research indicates British baked goods are becoming increasingly popular around the world with a 17% year-on-year rise in online searches. The data also shows there is an appetite for British biscuits, cakes and pastries, which are the most popular British baked goods on Alibaba.com.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs says UK food exports grew to £16.1bn in 2010 and food and farming is worth £85bn to the UK economy. Alibaba.com data shows British alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, beer and vodka are some of the most searched drinks from the UK on its website.

UK small businesses were also sourcing British-themed goods to meet demand around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, with a year-on-year increase of 2,100% in online searches for Diamond Jubilee products and a 16% year-on-year increase in searches for British goods. Popular online British searches by UK buyers include British flags, British food, British wool and British dragons.

In addition, as the UK is preparing for the many sporting events taking place this summer, small businesses around the world are also sourcing merchandise related to British sports to tap into the opportunities.

Alibaba.com said it has already seen a dramatic increase in global online searches for English football merchandise, rising by 800% year on year. The most popular searches are for English football shirts, badges and mobile phone cases. Global online searches for cricket-related products have also seen a rise of 286 %, with English willow cricket bats being one of the most common search terms. 

Morgan said: “The nation was very patriotic with many British flags and memorabilia being bought in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and now UK small businesses are gearing up for the Olympics for an additional surge in business.”