After a busy couple of weeks in Munich and a rush back home for a Morrisons pitch, Lizzy sits down with me to answer some questions about what’s going on with The Sweet Beet.

What was the purpose of the Munich trip?

To help represent the North-East artisan food scene as a producer but also to see what sort of demand there was in Germany and the wider EU. Ideally, we also wanted to meet or get to know the names of distributors that we should be contacting in order to understand how we can move product from point A to point B and hopefully connect us into their distribution network for The Sweet Beet.

Did you have any reservations about going on the trip?

Not necessarily, but I do think, looking back, that we could have had a lot more planned. Obviously, this was my first trade mission, so I have to take that into account. This was more of a demonstration for what the North-East has to offer. So, we made some good contacts, but I think the next trip I do is going to have a lot more planned.

What Went Well?

The feedback from the event was amazing. Everyone seemed to really enjoy our products and lot of samples were taken.

What Didn’t?

My bag never actually showed up! I think this effected the trip for our business because I had to spend time going around Munich looking for clothes and toiletries when I could have been using that time to check out the market there.

Why is the Northern Powerhouse mission an important venture for the North-East?

When you look at Scotland for instance or Yorkshire they really shout out about their providence. Everyone understands the Scotland food sector or the ‘Made in Yorkshire’ slogan and that tends to get people to stop and listen. Even around the world they recognise that. The North-East needs something like this. I would really like to see the North-East be able to showcase its producing pride and we could hopefully start making a bit of a reputation for ourselves.

On to the Morrisons pitch then; What’s happening there?

At minute they’re doing tastings. So, they have our products and they will use their in house chefs to help present the products to the internal buyers. I stuffed the box of samples I gave them with as much paraphernalia as possible, so they can see the personality behind the brand. Next week we’ll hear back to see where we go from there. Regardless of whether we move forward we still get feedback which is super important!

What opportunities does this Morrisons pitch present?

It could be anything from just a couple of stores or potentially regional distribution which would be just over 20 stores. I pitched for national which they didn’t really ask for but I’m ambitious. National distribution with Morrisons would mean so much, a huge step forward for The Sweet Beet.