Patrick Killoran of Banz Kofi has begun coffee distribution into Australia thanks to attending four Pacific Trade & Invest Trade Show events.
Mr Killoran, a true-blue Aussie originally from Brisbane and now living in Papua New Guinea said, “I’m going to have a fair dinkum crack at it!”
This year, Mr Killoran attended the Pasifika Festival at Auckland’s Western Springs. He followed up with Fine Food New Zealand in Auckland, then Fine Food Australia in Melbourne and finally to SIAL 2016 in Paris.
Since returning home from SIAL Paris at the Parc des Expositions Paris-Nord Villepinte, Mr Killoran has been inspired to expand the business. He has now hired two new staff members, Matthew Park and Leeanne Calder
He feels confident “they will take us where we need to go.”
Volumes are not big now but Mr Killoran said, “It’s about getting the name out there. It’s also about getting people with the right mix that can do the sales and marketing better than I can.” In addition, they have just sorted their pricing for the lead up to Christmas.
He now has two coffee shops in the Gold Coast selling Banz Kofi and three in Warwick with a dealership also jumping on board to sell coffee in the show room.
Mr Killoran said SIAL 2016 was a huge event taking up the size of 40 footy fields. One of the biggest challenges was standing amongst the thousands of exhibitors.
SIAL 2016 final report, organisers underlined “SIAL’s leadership and its influence on international food markets, foodservices.” This year the show’s focus was on ‘Sustainable Food and Innovation – the 21st century challenge’ targeting innovation, business and international trade – helping to face the food challenges of both today and tomorrow.
Mr Killoran said attending the trade shows was all about getting the brand out there but it was also about learning more about how to sell yourself and your product and finding out what worked.
It was also about credibility and showing that his brand is in it for the long term and “not a one hit wonder.”
Mr Killoran acknowledged PT&I’s role in taking delegations to these trade shows. “Robyn did a great job,” he said of his experience in SIAL. “They’re [the shows] so expensive and we were privileged for them to take us there – it’s huge.”
PT&I exhibition stands showcased several businesses at once and this year, had coffee, water, coconut soap and oils and spices.
But being the only person on his stand made it harder to deal with more than one enquiry at a time and he needed more than one person in future. He had just 1 hour off to visit the coffee section at SIAL. He also gave away 400 samples and the customer response was clear by looks on their faces he said. Many did not know where Papua New Guinea was but they were impressed with the taste and quality of the coffee.
He made two or three ‘very good contacts’ from the show but a sticking point was pricing. Many visitors wanted to haggle over the prices, but Mr Killoran was adamant that the price he offered was the best price. As a fair dinkum Aussie, Mr Killoran believes in giving the best price first up — anything else would be cheating. “I offer the best price from the beginning – I can’t do it any cheaper,” he said.
By way of innovation for the future he has come up with the biodegradable Nespresso Style coffee capsules. Disposing of the capsules are a big problem in today’s green world and these capsules go a long way to fixing this problem, the biodegradable capsules have been a ‘huge’ hit since they launched.
The costs of going to trade shows was prohibitive and he could not have done it without PT&I’s support and would do it all again.
And what of the future? Mr Killoran already has his eye on introducing a few new coffee products and upgrading the Banz Kofi website.
“I’m not sitting back and waiting. We’re actively out there,” Mr Killoran said.