Saturnus produces and sells qualitative Scandinavian beverages such as mulled wine, seasoned brandy, alcohol-free wine, juices, drinkmixers and mineral waters. The company was founded in 1893 and has been owned by the Liepe family since 1920. Saturnus therefore has a long history and solid experience within production of flavor material in the beverage industry.
Almost the entire production is still situated in Malmö and they have managed export mostly to neighboring countries and Germany since 1960. IKEA has been an important global customer for the company for many years and when they identified a demand for Saturnus’ snaps at IKEA China, they needed to rapidly find an importer for the product.
Shorter time to market through partner search with Business Sweden
In 2014 Saturnus engaged in Business Sweden’s Steps-to-Export business development process but during this time the company was faced with an urgent challenge, they needed to find a Chinese importer which had experience in selling Swedish products. This was an urgent matter as the business opportunity of selling to IKEA China was a “now or never” occasion. Saturnus decided to put the Steps-to-Export on hold and take help from Business Sweden to find a new partner.
Edward Liepe, CEO at Saturnus, states “It took us only two months to find a new importer and start delivering as we already had a relationship with Business Sweden and our export adviser understood our need directly”.
Managing risk with Exportkreditnämnden (EKN)
Edward expresses how sending large deliveries to China for their relatively small company means a notable credit risk, which is why they collaborate with EKN. Business Sweden mediated contacts to EKN so that Saturnus today are guaranteed credits for their deliveries.
“EKN takes a large part of the credit risk, this is a help when conducting business abroad. If the customer suddenly should disappear and not respond, it is difficult for us to claim receivables.”, said Edward.
Guidance leading to new revenue streams
Edward states “Business Sweden has through the years encountered many partners in different countries and industries, this results in broad market knowledge and experience. To access this guidance means a significant value for us, as we are a small company that are unable to have export knowledge everywhere, especially in China”. Because of Business Sweden’s broad insight of the Chinese market, Saturnus could rapidly establish a new partner relationship. Edward describes the cooperation with BUS as prompt and flexible in services offered according to the company’s demand.
Edward explains this is only the beginning of Saturnus’ presence in China, as they want to distribute more products on this large market for beverages.
“Our new importer has now also started to sell our products to Mongolia, this is exciting and unexpected and means a positive spin off effect from the partnership.”, said Edward.