An export deal to sell more than 60,000 cups for babies across China in the next 12 months has been offered to Babycup, a manufacturer of a specially designed open cup for babies. The Surrey-based business secured the contract with a Chinese distributor after attending the KIND + JUGEND trade fair in Germany.
With the support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) through its Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP), Babycup managed to attend the event. The Programme provides grant funding for eligible businesses towards the costs of exhibiting at overseas trade shows.
China’s burgeoning middle class helps drive the growing demand for British-made infant products, and the cup’s success so far in the market, means that the order value is likely to increase by 2,000% over the next year. “Babycup is a shining example of a business that has committed itself to getting a British-made product out there on a global scale,” commented Ben Raby, head of South East DIT.
Babycup was founded in 2013 by Sara Keel, following years of being unable to find a cup without a spout or lid for her young children. She then decided to create an open cup that was easy for babies to drink from and hold, while being in line with recommendations from orthodontists and dentists.
She started out by selling the cup to buyers in the UK, including the NHS, but she began exporting almost immediately. “Exporting was an obvious extension to the business. Families the world over want what’s ‘best for baby’. The potential audience for Babycup First Cups is universal and the market is as big as the birth rate,” Sara said.
Exporting now makes up 80% of Babycup’s total sales thanks to demand from customers in markets such as Japan, Thailand and the US, where it has now set up a distribution centre to fulfil orders across the country. “We’ve secured a lot of our overseas business, including the deal with the Canadian Government, through our website. The Chinese deal was aided by us being active on social media and talking about our cup and the issues it addressed,” she concluded.