How the Empire State Brewed Success in China

The Assignment

Bring New York’s largest farm brewery’s craft beer to China and promote Empire State products

  • Tractus Asia is the designated China representative of Empire State Development (ESD), the umbrella organization for New York’s two principal economic development financing entities: The New York State Urban Development Corporation and the Department of Economic Development.
  • Tractus worked closely with the ESD team to facilitate a mission comprised of New York state-based food and beverage (F&B) companies to the cities of Beijing and Tangshan in September 2015.
  • We collaborated with the participating New York companies before the F&B promotion event to determine their needs and understand their unique selling points. Using that information, we arranged over 40 one-on-one matchmaking meetings prior to the event.

Tractus’ Solution

Selecting “Export Ready” companies and those with “Market Ready” products and services are the key to a successful mission and export success

  • Tractus collaborated with the Empire State Development mission team to develop a set of selection criteria for companies to be recruited for the mission.
  • In order to ensure a productive and successful mission, delegates should have the willingness, capability and readiness to export their products to China – be an “Export Ready Company”. Companies that are Export Ready for China are those that have export experience in more established and easier markets.
  • Their products or services must be “China Market Ready”, meaning that there will likely be a high interest in the product or service with little or no modifications required for the market.
  • Participating in trade shows typically involves shipping samples, machinery, marketing materials and other items to display at the show. Sample shipment coordination requires a significant amount of time and effort during the trade show mission preparation period, especially for consumer goods.
  • In this case, because beer is a controlled alcoholic consumer product, there were special requirements that needed to be met prior to shipment. Sample preparation and the documentation to accompany it required significant time. The Tractus team notified the ESD team and the mission delegates well in advance; assisted the delegates to understand any temporary licensing or regulatory issues they might encounter; coordinated with shipping companies to determine the most economical way to ship the goods and clear them through Customs with minimal cost and complications.
  • Being prepared for the unexpected is mandatory and being flexible and creative with solutions to unexpected situations is the hallmark of good project management. This was demonstrated during the CIE show, when it became apparent that the consumer goods section of the show was very poorly marketed and had very few commercial visitors compared to the industrial goods area.
  • Fortunately, we had planned on using the trade show as a venue for one-on-one business meetings we set-up for each of the delegates in advance. While commercial visitors to the consumer products section of the show were disappointing, the one-on-one meetings more than made up for the lack of trade show attendees. Panda Brew, the current distributor of Empire Brewing, was one of the companies met during these one-on-one meetings.

Result

Governor Cuomo announced New York’s largest farm brewery brings “I Love New York” licensed beer to China

  • As a result of participation in the CIE trade show, Empire Brewing was able to identify a China licensee for its craft beer and begin marketing its product in China.
  • The resulting success was announced by New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo in a press release on 1 December 2016 noting the impact that New York’s Empire State Development (ESD) and Tractus’ assistance through our representation of ESD in China.
  • See attached press release with Tractus’ emphasis added to highlight the assistance provided by Empire State Development.

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