The company stocks a range of yerba mate drink infusions across the UK through retailers such as Ocado, Whole Foods and Revital as well as selling online.
The business already exports to seven countries including the US, Sweden and France, and boosted its international orders by 42% between 2015 and 2017.
Exports make up 40% of the company’s £100,000 annual turnover and founders Rosie Marteau and Charles Grummit plan to increase this further by exporting to Brazil in the next three months and to target Australia in 2019.
Rosie Marteau, co-founder of Yuyo, said: “Exporting has always been fundamental to our business plans as we knew our products could have a global appeal. We’re finding international buyers are increasingly associating UK goods with high quality and on-trend packaging, and we’re looking to tap into this even more by reaching out to new markets, including Brazil. Brazil is the home of yerba mate itself, but it looks to Europe for innovative brands like ours.
“Of course, exporting is not without its challenges. One of the main factors we had to consider was regulation around ingredients and labelling. It’s very expensive to redesign packaging for a global market. We found a way around this at first by putting ingredients stickers over our current packaging so that it complied with international guidelines. This also gave us the flexibility to test our products in different markets without having to spend too much money. Once we’d proven our ability to trade internationally we created packs with seven different world languages on the back.”
Marteau added that the Department of International Trade (DIT) had helped with the business’ growth plans.
“We’ve been working with DIT in the south west since we launched two years ago and their support has been vital. The team host ‘meet the buyer’ events for us to network with potential clients and distributors, which has resulted in increased business globally.
“The best advice I could give to firms looking to export would be to see it as an extension of their current operations. The hard part of launching a product has already been done, so there’s no reason not to expand your prospects to include overseas buyers too. If we can do it, so can others.”
Paul Shand, DIT’s head of south west, praised the business.
“Yuyo is a great example of a local business that’s harnessing the wide range of benefits exporting can bring. It’s encouraging to see such a young company target new markets like Australia, as well as continuing to make inroads into its established markets, like the US and Europe.
“We know that firms that trade internationally are more successful, profitable and resilient than their non-exporting counterparts. Exporting for the first time can be seen as a challenge, particularly for firms with limited time resource and capacity, but that’s why we have a team of international trade advisers in the south west to guide firms through the exporting process. Our advisers can help companies target new territories and advise them on matters such as tax, regulation and logistics.”