Marketing NZs Premium Products - Great Market Stories

November 2017

In November the Marlborough Research Centre (MRC) brought together some of Marlborough’s premium producers to share their market stories.

Market stories are often told when successful, but not so often when things don’t go to plan. That is what made this event special. Four fabulous presenters told of their wins and near-misses, providing plenty of insight for very interested attendees.

We would like to say a very special thank you to the four great speakers; Geoff Ross – MOA Breweries, Darren Clifford – Taylor Pass Honey Co, John Murphy – Marlborough Garlic and Grant Rosewarne – NZ King Salmon for sharing their stories with all their highs and lows.  It’s great to see and hear from some of our local talent in the food and beverage industry.


Geoff Ross
CEO of MOA Brewing Co.

In this video, we are pleased to share wisdom presented by Geoff Ross, CEO of MOA Brewing Co. with you.

Geoff was the founder and CEO of 42 Below which was a listed company for three years prior to its sale to Bacardi in late 2006. Geoff is also a director of skin care and fragrance brands Trilogy and Ecoya.

Highlights from the video:

  • All brands need a story. If you have a strong appealing story, it will travel faster.
  • The secret to success in one word is focus or you spread yourself too thin.
  • Export = time X money2, therefore conquer your own backyard, before starting to export.
  • Once you have proof of concept offshore, your brand becomes more valuable.
  • Focus on one export market at a time and get it right.

Darren Clifford
Executive Director, Taylor Pass Honey Co

In this video Darren Clifford, Executive Director, Taylor Pass Honey Co shares his company’s export story. Darren is the founder of Taylor Pass Honey Co, one of the largest honey operations in the South Island. He has had a lifetime of experiences since his first hive at the age of 14.

Highlights from the video:

  • The Marlborough Chamber of Commerce Business Awards were a ‘light bulb’ moment. They helped with building a vision around markets and future brands. Most importantly, the process enabled the company to assess business risk around current sales channels to market.
  • Invest in market research to identify key markets of interest.
  • Consider the product stability, brand awareness, positioning and consumer knowledge.
  • IP is gold - it will cost to get it but it will cost to lose it and it will cost in between.
  • Picking a partner is as important as choosing your spouse. Not enough companies spend enough time assessing compatibility.


John Murphy
CEO, Marlborough Garlic Ltd

In this video John Murphy - CEO, Marlborough Garlic Ltd shares his company’s story.

Marlborough Garlic Ltd. CEO John Murphy leads New Zealand's most prominent garlic and shallot operation. He talked about the challenges of this family business transitioning from a farming operation to a premium food business.

Marlborough Garlic is a dominant player in the domestic market. It supplies two-thirds of the retail stores in NZ.

Highlights from the video:

  • Focus on big or small – there is no inbetween.
  • Be aspirational with your product offerings.


Grant Rosewarne
CEO, New Zealand King Salmon Co.

In this video Grant Rosewarne - CEO, New Zealand King Salmon Co shares his marketing story.

Grant’s international business expertise prior to NZ King Salmon spans Britain, Europe and Australasia, with blue chip companies such as Unilever, Cerebos and Douwe Egberts/Sara Lee.

Grant shared how King Salmon moved out of the commodity market into branded products fetching a premium above their competition. His story involves a lot of shoe leather, the world’s top 1000 restaurants, and winning over the sceptics by bringing them business.