New trade deals will boost Valentine’s earnings

British confectionery companies are currently celebrating a potential export boost in time for Valentine’s Day 2024, as the UK’s trade deals with Australia and New Zealand mean the removal of tariffs in time for the commercial holiday.

Tariffs on exports to Australia and New Zealand are set to be removed under the UK’s new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand trade deals are the first the UK has negotiated ‘from scratch’, since leaving the European Union. They are due to come into force this year and will give the UK economy a boost of UK£2.3 billion and £800 million, respectively.

As a result of the trade deals, Australian and New Zealand confectionery lovers may be able to enjoy organic chocolate from London-based chocolatiers Seed & Bean who have expressed that they are keen to restart exports ‘Down Under’. They estimate that the FTAs could unlock a £100,000 export opportunity if they find a distributor.

Valentine’s Day spending in Australia is increasing year-on-year. British bakeries and chocolate manufacturers could experience a Valentine’s sales boom after the deals come into force. Seed & Bean say they already experience a 25% online traffic boost in the build-up to Valentine’s Day.

Research conducted by market research firm Roy Morgan on behalf of the Australian Retailers Association showed that Australian couples were expected to spend an estimated £280 million on Valentine’s Day this year, a marked increase of 16.9% from 2022.

According to market research company Statista, the Australian confectionery snacks market is worth £13.2 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow annually by 1.64% over the next four years. In New Zealand, this is projected to reach £61 million in 2023 with an annual growth rate of 16.97% over the next four years.

“Our new deals with Australia and New Zealand will allow our fantastic British confectionery businesses like Original Cake Company and Seed & Bean to become more competitive and export their top-notch products Down Under with ease,” said Nigel Huddleston, Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade. “These landmark trade deals are expected to stimulate trade, drive economic growth and lead to better paying jobs, bolstering British businesses and empowering them to tap into significant markets in the flourishing Asia-Pacific region.”

Seed & Bean was founded in 2005 in London, with the aim of creating an ethical range of confectionery. They previously exported to Australia and New Zealand, however this halted because of Covid. They maintain they want to export to both nations again and the FTAs would help do that.

“The trade deals with Australia and New Zealand will help us reduce the landed cost of our organic chocolate bars into the two countries,” explained Oliver Shorts, Chief Chocolatier, Seed & Bean. “One of the big barriers to entry are the costs involved in getting the goods in, and this will allow us to help any potential distributor margins and permit the product to be a more viable opportunity in the market.”

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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