Glasgow wholesaler lands Disney drinks deal in China

JW Filshill's Chris Miller with the wholesaler's Disney-branded drinks
JW Filshill's Chris Miller with the wholesaler's Disney-branded drinks
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Food and drink wholesaler JW Filshill International has secured a £120,000 deal to supply a range of Disney-branded drinks to China.

The Glasgow-based firm said the pouches of fruit purée, which are made in Lanarkshire, are targeted at toddlers and younger children and feature Disney favourites Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the packs.

JW Filshill sent its first shipment to China last week after brokering a deal with a Shanghai-based importer that has sold the products to US retail giant Walmart, which operates more than 400 stores in the world’s second-largest economy.

Head of export and commercial operations Chris Miller said: “Our importer, who carries the Disney brand licence for China, specialises in the health food category for the baby-to-teenage segment and currently imports dozens of Disney-brand products.

“We are also hopeful our importer will secure a listing with Shanghai Disney Resort, the first Disney resort in mainland China, due to open in late 2016.”

JW Filshill is also behind the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland initiative, which recently expanded its sales base in emerging markets including China, Hong Kong and Dubai. The move has helped secure business worth some £200,000 for several craft brewers including Drygate, Inveralmond and Windswept.

Miller said: “During our recent visits to Beijing and Shanghai with the Clan we were introduced to an importer who specialises in products for babies and children and the project snowballed from there. There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make it happen but once we got the green light to proceed it came to fruition in around six months.

“We established early on with Craft Beer Clan that China is key to our international growth as consumers there are hugely interested in Scotland and have a particular appetite for Scotch whisky as well as premium food and drink products. There’s also a new generation of Chinese consumers who are very conscious about what they eat and want their children to grow up with healthy eating habits.”

Miller pointed to Scottish Development International (SDI), Scottish Enterprise and Scotland Food & Drink as “key collaborative partners” in JW Filshill’s international activities.

Susan Beattie, head of food and drink at SDI, said: “Congratulations to JW Filshill International for securing this major international deal. This is an excellent example of a collaborative approach to exporting.”