A taste of Oklahoma made its way to the palates of shoppers in Germany during recent promotions in two cities.
The Southern United States Trade Association, which promotes the export of U.S. food and agricultural products, included Southern Okie’s line of fruit spreads, Suan’s line of Scotch Bonnet jellies and preserves and Pepper Creek Farms BBQ sauce in its mix for in-store promotions.
The first in-store promotion was held near the end of June at KaDeWe, a high-end upscale department store in Berlin. The latter was in late September to early October at Feinkost Bohm, a store with a deep history, located in the heart of Stuttgart.
Barbara Charlet, International Market Development Coordinator, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), and renowned Oklahoma chef Kurt Fleischfresser were in Stuttgart for the in-store promotion from Sept. 20-27.
“A buying team from Germany traveled to Oklahoma and Texas in January of this year for the purpose of identifying and selecting products for the two-week in-store promotions,” Charlet said. “In Germany it takes a buyer and an importer combination. So the importer, Claudia Beckord, and the buyer or the retailer, Alexander Frank with KaDeWe, came over in January.”
Oklahoma products such as Griffin Foods, for more than 15 years, and Clements peanut butter, for at least five years, have been staples in Germany at certain retailers, according to Charlet.
However, these in-store promotions marked the German debut for the products of Southern Okie, Suan’s and Pepper Creek Farms. That makes it even more important that shoppers are given the pleasure of sampling the products, according to Charlet.
As added support, Fleischfresser made the trip to participate in the promotions at Stuttgart.
That opened another opportunity.
“The store in Stuttgart offers food only,” Charlet said. “In addition to being high-end deli, high-end cheese, at one end of the store they have just a lovely restaurant and at the other end of the store is a sushi bar and they are both packed. Knowing that Kurt was going to come and lend a little support to this in-store promotion, they asked him if he would design a Southern menu. So he designed two of them, one for each week of the promotion.
“So the week that we were there he worked with the chefs at this restaurant so that they would know how to prepare it. It was a pork chop with a nice sauce on it and a pumpkin dessert with pecans on it. Then he worked with them at the end of the week so that they knew what to do with the second menu.”
Charlet said the ability to export internationally is important for various reasons.
It is important to those companies that already have their products on the shelves in other countries.
“It’s also important for those wanting to expand their business,” she said. “So for example, Suan’s is doing well here in the United States, but it just gives her another opportunity to showcase her product to see if she can get additional sales.
“That’s our bottom line is just trying to make something happen for these companies so that they have another stream of income.”
For more information about pursuing international markets for your food and agricultural products, please contact, Barbara Charlet at ODAFF, [email protected] or (405) 522-6192.