Symington’s, the UK-based manufacturer, is embarking on an export push and is in talks to enter three major markets, CEO John Power has told just-food.

Markets outside the UK accounted for 7% of the annual revenue of Symington’s in its last financial year, which reached GBP115m (US$158.3m).

However, expanding the company’s export business is one of three strands of a new commercial strategy drawn up by the group’s management to build on its recent growth.

Symington’s does business in Australia where it sells products including Mug Shot, as well as distributing products including snack lines for The Kids Food Co. under the UK children-focused firm’s Kiddylicious brand.

The company also sells into Europe, seeing its exports – off a small base – to Ireland jump more than 80% last year and Power said: “Based on that model, we’re now in active conversations with the US, India and China.”

The Symington’s boss said the talks “principally” covered two brands – Mug Shot and Naked Noodle – and he expects “first orders within the next three to six months” in at least one of the three countries.

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Power suggested India was the front-runner among the three markets but said the situation could change. “It’s all about how quickly you can work through the requirements at this end and that end. It’s a bit like a three-horse race and every now again one has got its nose ahead.”

Asked why Symington’s believed, for example, it could prosper selling a product like Naked Noodle to the Chinese, Power said: “Food safety, food security, the cachet of having a Western brand.”

And he talked up the opportunity in India. “Look at the numbers in India, there’s however many billion people and then however many of them are in the middle class. You think let’s not go for the middle class, let’s go for the uber – there’s ‘only’ 30m of them, do you know what I mean? Wherever you pitch it within that, it’s a huge opportunity.”

Full interview: “We are doing so many things differently” – CEO John Power on upturn in fortunes at Symington’s and its prospects