Following its participation in the recent Auckland Spring Home and Gift Fair show, Fiji-based beauty products manufacturer and exporter Natural Fiji is in talks with both online and brick-and-mortar businesses to retail its range in New Zealand.
“I am talking to at least one online boutique shop that is very keen on our products as well as a couple of gift shops that would like to retail our collection,” says Ash Sharma, Natural Fiji’s New Zealand distributor who represented the company at the show.
Participating in a gift show to promote its range of products was not something that Natural Fiji had considered seriously before this opportunity came along, Ms Sharma said. “I think the gift space was one of the sectors that had not crossed our minds but then we did realise that it could be yet another outlet for our products.”
Being physically present with Natural Fiji’s products at the show was hugely important as it gave potential retailers an opportunity to try out products, according to Ms Sharma.
“They get to see it, hold it, smell it and try it on. If you are not at the show then you miss out on the ability to showcase your products to hundreds of people that come over during the three days. Secondly, it helps build your brand as it is a reputable and credible place to be at together with being sponsored by an organisation like Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ,” she added.
PTI NZ invited four Pacific Island companies to showcase their products at the Auckland Spring Home and Gift Fair from August 27 to 29. The trade-only event had more than 300 exhibitors from around New Zealand and overseas and attracted trade, wholesale and retail visitors. The four companies were housed in a specially themed PTI branded set of stands. Besides Natural Fiji, the other three companies were Kora Pearls from the Cook Islands, Fiji’s Essence of Fiji and The Summit from Vanuatu.
Ms Sharma thought that being a trade-only show, the visitor profile was well suited for Natural Fiji’s product range. “Though they were a small segment of the total crowd the ones that came were specifically looking for cosmetic/boutique gift range to add to their shelves. Our body care range of oils, lotions, scrubs and body bars could easily fit into gift baskets so they did generate a lot of interest from some gift shops including online gift shops,” she said.
Being a new brand in the market and because cosmetics are “a very personal affair” it will be quite challenging to win new customers, Ms Sharma believes. “Breaking into brand loyalty would be tough especially for the face care range.” She thinks it will be important to project the other natural attributes and benefits of the range that will be a winner for the brand: “We have coconut oil in our products and the fact that its natural and organic, makes the range appealing,” she says.
Ms Sharma is planning an overhaul of the company’s online assets — revamping the website and ramping up social media marketing, now that Natural Fiji is close to signing up with retailers after the gift show. “We have to lift and maintain our social medial game — you can get huge mileage out of such expos during and after the event and we must capitalise on it,” she says.
Speaking about PTI’s facilitating role in the gift show participation, Ms Sharma said, “Having the PTI team’s presence full time at the exhibition was very much appreciated. The entire row of PTI sponsored booths was eye catching. The shelves were great to display our products. The booths were just the right size and the everything looked quite elegant.”
Ms Sharma wishes there were more trade visitors during the four-day show. “Perhaps they should squeeze the event over two days and get a rush of retailers/wholesalers in through those two days, that would make it more intense,” she said.
For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Joe Fuavao at email@example.com