UK Grocery Accelerator Program

  • 28/02/2018

FIAL Food Pathway to UK and European Markets

The UK Grocery Accelerator Program will provide Australian food and beverage exporters with the knowledge, capabilities and connections they need to succeed in the UK and European markets. This pilot program aims to reduce the cost and exposure to businesses of trying to break into the UK and European markets through facilitating meetings with buyers, including the negotiation process for securing a deal to get products onto shelves.

The Program will be highly customised to individual company needs, taking into account their varying levels of market knowledge and experience. The Program is unique in that it offers end-to-end support throughout the entire process, from documentation to ranging, identifying opportunities and securing export sales.

The UK’s fast-paced, innovative, demanding and high value food and drink market:

  • The UK has 67.6 million consumers, spending A$362.5* billion a year on food and drink (2016 data).
  • EU countries imported A$128.4** Billion food and drink products in 2016. And its 512 million consumers spend 14% of their A$1.7 trillion GDP on food and drink market.
  • The UK’s retail sector is dominated by supermarket chains, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons, with smaller multiples, online and “discounters” now disrupting their dominance.
  • A competitive market place means demand for innovation is strong, with the UK’s 5 largest retailers featuring around 8,500 new products each year (according to Mintel).

The UK Grocery Accelerator 12 months program:

Trade Mission UK

  • Targeted introductions to UK retailers, wholesalers, food service and on-line suppliers of food and drink, including store visits (where applicable) and meetings with relevant buyers.
  • Trade Mission UK is the largest trade event of its kind in 2018, held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham (16-18 th April).
  • Introductions to potential distribution and logistics partners.
  • FIAL and GA to host the New Australian Products pavilion at this event - stand space available to showcase brands

Training, Capability Building and Mentoring

  • Drawing on both in-house resources and GA expertise, the program will help participants to bridge their knowledge and skill gaps, by focusing on key topics and critical success factors for the UK market
  • Topics will include: UK imported food & beverage distribution channels; UK imported food & beverage key retailers; eCommerce; market entry strategies; consumer insights; packaging preferences; promotions and pricing; trends and opportunities; available in-market assistance; partner selection; labeling; trademark; and import requirements.
  • GA to support distribution to UK / EU retailers and wholesalers
  • Continual contact with GA to support journey, both at 1:1 level and via group webinars (monthly)
  • Develop founders’ understanding of the sales process in the UK and refine their sales pitch to trade buyers
  • Support companies in creating a category management strategy for targeted retailers
  • Support individual development of a go-to-market strategy for each brand

In-Market Testing

  • Run consumer insight tests with the Vypr platform to inform brand positioning, key messaging and price points based on buying behavior for each consuming demographic
  • Targeted introductions to UK retailers, wholesalers, food service and on-line suppliers of food and drink, including store visits (where applicable) and meetings with relevant buyers
  • Test products on the discovery shop with Ocado, the UK’s leading online supermarket with 18% share of the on-line market. This “shop within a shop” allows GA to launch innovative brands with near national distribution and a retailer that is often the stepping-stone for listing with major supermarkets
  • FIAL and GA will work with selected partners to deliver local market orientation and support, especially to “meet the buyer” events in regional centres
  • Align with relevant trade events in mainland Europe

Product Adaptation for the UK / EU market

  • Participants may be eligible for FIAL innovation support and will be able to apply their market insights to develop innovative products for these markets
  • Develop an overarching UK report on the learnings and market insights for the Australian food and agribusiness industry which will be shared via newsletter and website.

Key growth areas in the UK/EU Markets:

  • Meat-free:Veganism up 360% on 10 years ago, which equates to 542,000 consumers with 88% living in cities, and 22% in London (Vegan Soc. 2016).
  • Free from:Particularly free from either refined or no sugar and gluten. 38% of new products applying for listings in Grocery Accelerator’s Ocado Discovery Shop in 2017 had free from claims
  • Healthy food and drinks: 51% of UK consumers actively look for the words associated with “healthy” when shopping for food and drink. Over two in five (42%) UK consumers aged 16-24 have consumed sportsn utrition products in their past three months. This sector grew 27% last two years.
  • Ethically-sourced products:Sales in“ethical” food and drink, including organic, fair-trade and free-range rose to A$15.2 billion in 2014.
  • High Protein:By 2018, the global market value of the meat and plant protein ingredients is forecast to increase to A$39 billion, with plant-based protein market expected to hit 40% of this in 2018. UK & EU are both significant markets for this growing product type, be that with meat or plant-based products.
  • Craft:Traditional and nostalgic production, made true to their authentic roots are resonating strongly, creating interest in new entrants playing strongly to their heritage history.
  • Indulgent/Fun: With the Millennial food and drink market set to be the largest sector by value of population, generation 'fun with food’ is creating new commercial product innovation opportunities, as the UK has 16.8 million Millennials (20 to 35yrs).

But it’s not just retail…

The UK’s catering industry is worth an estimated £88 billion - around 43% of total consumer spending on food and drink. Innovative snacks, with food and drinks ‘to-go’ and home delivery market showing significant growth options.

FIAL collaboration with grocery accelerator?

GA was established in 2014 to explore the potential to introduce the concept of business accelerators as deployed within the tech and digital markets to the consumer goods (food and drink) sector. Following a successful pilot the company has run three cohorts and has thirteen businesses within its investment portfolio.

These have secured in excess of £2 million between them in equity funding from diverse third parties introduced by GA.

During 2016, GA negotiated and opened Discovery Shop, powered by Grocery Accelerator with Ocado, the UK’s leading online supermarket with 18% share of the on-line market.


AUD$12,500 per company, supported by FIAL, Grocery Accelerator and Austrade.


*The program is a pilot & available to selected companies only via EOI process

*All applicants must have export knowledge, and ideally are already exporting

*Travel & accommodation is not included in the program