US firm to sell bird's-nest in China
Company expects stringent American standards to make its product popular
It may be akin to selling snow to the Inuit, but a US company has become the first in North America to export bird's nest soup products to China.
Golden Nest, which is based in Arcadia, Los Angeles county, was one of nine California companies exhibiting their products at the Natural Products Expo Asia 2012 (NPEA) at the Hong Kong Convention Centre yesterday.
For a decade Golden Nest has been providing bird's nest soup products that have been inspected and/or licensed by the United States' Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture, and Fish and Wildlife Service.
The products are also tested and analysed by an independent FDA-approved laboratory.
With this level of quality control, the company's founder and chief executive Jemmy Pranyoto believes its products will sell well on the China market.
Pranyoto said customers valued the fact the product was sourced in the United States, with an American label guaranteeing it was genuine and of high quality.
He said negotiations were going as planned with China Customs and the company would be selling its goods on the mainland in a few months.
Pranyoto said the company had already signed up with Hong Kong food distributor and wholesaler Max Choice.
"We started off supplying the Chinese market in the US, which is huge, and have now moved to overseas markets, with China being the first and most significant," Pranyoto said.
The main exporters of bird's nest products to the mainland are based in Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia. Golden Nest's products are sold in a traditional format and also in a line of ready-to-drink beverages.
Jeff Williamson, director of the California State Trade and Export Promotion programme, said it was used to seeing trade go in the other direction, from China to the US, but to see a Chinese cultural product being made in the US and then exported to China was very different.
"It's really interesting, because for 50 years the US was the global locus of consumption, but in the next 10 years China will be, and it'll change a lot of trade patterns. US companies want to be a part of this," Williamson said.