We can't hide from it, Brexit has happened and from 2300 hours on 31st December 2020, unless something extraordinary occurs, all movements of goods in and out of the EU will be subject to additional documentation and customs clearance, irrespective of whether or not a trade deal is reached.
While many small businesses are facing unprecedented challenges with covid and now with a no deal Brexit, business is still thriving at Popcorn Shed, the multi-award winning gourmet popcorn brand. They have seen their online sales grow 500% month on month in the last 12 months.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about huge challenges for the food industry – Popcorn Shed’s business was wholesale, B2B and direct to cinemas, shops, distributors etc. Almost overnight those routes to market and revenue streams went quiet as traditional B2B customers closed their doors.
Laura Jackson, Director of Popcorn Shed says: “We had to quickly broaden our sales channels by jumping into online delivery and social media marketing with both feet.
While some sales channels have taken a hit during the pandemic, we have found that export continues to grow and there seems to be a sustained demand for British gourmet popcorn even during challenging times. Despite Covid-induced shipping and supply problems, the market has proved to be buoyant.
I think is incredibly promising, and just shows the commitment that we have from our customers around the world. The crisis has also brought to light the innovation that the domestic market is capable of.”
Now PS are looking to Brexit proof their business. Popcorn Shed have had to focus efforts to increase production, rationalise product lines whilst operating with reduced staff and social distancing. This is a significant investment cost for a start-up businesses. Whilst there are government grants available for training they do not cover the vast majority of the investments needed to continue to trade in the EU.
Laura Jackson, Director of Popcorn Shed says: “Whilst Britain has a vibrant and competitive market and there are lots of opportunities at our doorstep, export is still a growth area and part of our strategy. We will continue to Brexit proof our business and try our best to overcome potential disruption in the New Year. However, the requirements for new documentation and the introduction of new checks at the ports will undeniably create logistical disruption.”
Since its launch in 2016, multi-award winning gourmet popcorn brand, Popcorn Shed has gone from humble beginnings in a garden shed to supplying top retailers including Harrods, Ocado, the Coo-op, John Lewis etc and exporting to over 20 countries worldwide.
“We are feeling positive despite the uncertantity. If this year has brought us anything positive, it’s a strengthened sense of community through support for independent businesses both here in the UK and abroad.” Says Laura - Director of Popcorn Shed