Supported by the Department for International Trade (DIT), the deal will see James’ range of Christmas-inspired chocolates – including Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, Christmas puddings and mince pies – sold in a supermarket chain in Ireland.
An Irish supermarket chain has already ordered chocolate dragon eggs from the company for Easter and plans to place repeat orders in the future.
The producer has also landed a deal to supply its chocolate domes to a desserts manufacturer in Australia and is set to generate £1.3m over the next five years from new deals secured in the US and Europe.
‘Scope to grow’
Commenting on the business’ export success, founder and chief chocolatier James Hutchins said: “The idea of exporting wasn’t really on our radar until we started receiving enquiries from overseas. We still have plenty of scope to grow in our home market, and we will be working with DIT to develop a proactive export strategy in due course.
“At first, we did think that exporting might be a bit complicated, but with the right advice and support from DIT, it has been anything but. I would really encourage other companies to look for business overseas.”
DIT supported the company with market research and advice around labelling issues, commodity codes and tariffs.
Paul Shand, head of trade in the south west at the DIT, said: “The global demand for south-west food and drink is strong all year round and companies across the region should really be tapping into this.
“Christmas, in particular, is such a busy time of year for UK businesses, so it is great to see James Chocolates take advantage of the international opportunities that it presents.”
Hutchins encouraged businesses that think exporting might be too complicated to approach the DIT and embrace the opportunities trading overseas can offer.