UK exporters look set to pull off another Christmas cracker with international sales of Brussel sprouts, geese and Christmas lights expected to increase by as much as 2000% in the run up to the big day, according to UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
The biggest grossing products for the UK economy over the Christmas period are expected to be wine, cheese and toys. Sales figures for last year were £116m for wine, £106m for cheese and £102m for toys.
British meat will also be in high demand with families around the world tucking into produce farmed in the UK. In quarter four last year Germany was the biggest importer of our geese, Ireland gobbled up the most British turkey and Denmark went the most quackers for our duck. UK companies have also branched out into exporting Christmas trees, with top recipients including Ireland, Russia and Mauritius.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy, assisted 29,230 customers to export last year, of whom 20% were new exporters. UKTI also helped businesses generate £49.6 billion in additional sales through exporting.
Crispin Simon, UKTI chief executive, said: “The Made in Britain brand is sought after across the world and this year, like last, Santa’s sleigh will be stuffed with presents and festive treats made and designed by UK businesses.
“In 2014 we want to make sure that increasing numbers of UK firms are not just trading abroad, but thriving there and competing with the best the rest of the world has to offer.
“UKTI can provide support and advice to help our businesses excel in markets around the world.”
Lye Cross Farm, based in Somerset, is one business that has benefitted from the support and expertise of UKTI to export its cheese, which is a popular item at Christmas. The business has been exporting West Country farm house cheddar, organic cheese and bespoke cheese since 1998.
Lye Cross is one of the companies that features in UKTI’s Exporting is Great campaign which is inspiring small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to export and directs them to UKTI’s expert support services.
Tim Harrap, head of collaboration at Lye Cross Farm, said: “We are really committed to exporting as there is so much opportunity across the world for quality products.
“We have seen increasing sales in the run up to Christmas this year, with record months in October and November.
“UKTI has been invaluable in providing us with the research tools to help us know where to target and key contacts at embassies across the world.”
The New Year period will also see a rise for UK businesses that sell fitness products as people try to sweat off their festive flab.
Exporters of sports shoes saw a 39% increase after quarter four last year, from £14,790,593 to £20,590,202.
UKTI’s expert international trade advisors can help new exporters with practical advice and support to seek out new international customers.