A shipping container packed with 16 pallets of traditional two-litre Golden North tubs and four of its low-GI 1.2 litre Good ‘n Creamy varieties will sail for Ho Chi Minh City on July 27.
Golden North began exporting to China in 2015 where it still sends about four containers a year.
Marketing and export director Trevor Pomery said the company hoped exports to Vietnam would reach a container a month – triple the Chinese sales – within a year.
He said the deal with the supermarket chain MM Mega Market had been 14 months in the making and began at a trade show in Singapore in May 2018.
“The ice cream market is growing over there and they were looking for an Australian product, it was a great opportunity and it was perfect timing. The trade show was right when they were looking for a new supplier,” Pomery said.
“We’ve sent a little bit to Malaysia, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Nauru but they are all relatively small.
“It’s going into Ho Chi Minh City and then the customer has a number of outlets all over Vietnam. This particular customer has retail outlets in a number of countries so if we go well in Vietnam we might get into a couple of other places as well – that’s the hope.”
The privately owned and operated ice cream manufacturer was established in 1923 at Laura in South Australia’s upper Mid North where it still produces a range of ice cream flavours that are palm oil, nut and gluten-free.
Its growing sales are approaching 14 million litres of ice cream a year with vanilla its most popular flavour followed by honey and boysenberry.
In April, Golden North was voted Australia’s favourite ice cream for the second consecutive year in an independent customer survey by Canstar Blue of more than 1300 consumers nationally.
Pomery said he was fielding inquiries from a number of other potential Asian customers he met at a trade show in Hong Kong in May this year, which could also take several months to materialise as firm export opportunities.
“Australia has a very good reputation as being a clean, green food producer so all those who have gone before use to establish that position really do help,” he said.
“But we’ve just won that Canstar award again so when the products launch in Vietnam they will have signage in the stores saying Australia’s favourite ice cream two years in a row and as an introduction – if you’ve never seen the brand before – that’s a very good reason to give it a try.
“We’ll do some sampling in store up there as well because you’ve got to get them to try it so then they can make their own decision and we think our product will stand on its own two feet once they taste it.”
– The Lead South Australia