Connecting exporters from the Leeds City Region

Export drive for Leeds cracker maker

Rakusen’s, the Leeds-based savoury cracker maker, has announced that over the next five years it plans to double its trade overseas by expanding into Asian markets and building its presence in the US.

The company, which started production in Leeds in 1900, was one of the first UK manufacturers of the water cracker. It has expanded its range of savoury products to include matzo, hi-baked, chocolate and gluten-free crackers.

Rakusen’s began its export journey following online orders from customers in Denmark, South Africa, North America and Canada.

The company embarked on its global sales strategy by working with international trade advisers as part of the Food is GREAT campaign which helps British food and drink businesses sell their goods and services overseas. The programme is a joint initiative by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Rakusen’s has put together a five-year growth plan which includes establishing a more permanent presence in the States and across Asia.

The DIT also supported the firm by part-funding its participation in a trade mission to the Fancy Food Show in California earlier this year.

Andrew Simpson, director at Rakusen's, said: "We currently export to mainly English-speaking countries, but we've started looking to Asia as it is a market where we see customers with increasing disposable incomes wanting to buy our products.

"To make this goal achievable, we've been working with International Trade Advisers at DIT to help address various exporting challenges ahead of increasing our exports to these markets. This includes learning about the regulatory differences when selling to Asia. We have had to consider changes to the flour we use, make sure our packaging is correctly labelled and translated, and states the country of origin."