If you like premium quality European products, Food Linkers is a name you‘ll wish to remember. We spoke with Food Linkers director Annika Hiltunen and Kyrö Distillery Company brand ambassador Steven Beerens about the unique and exclusive products they are making available for the first time in Hong Kong.
Brand ambassador Steven Beerens
How did Food Linkers begin?
Food Linkers started with the vision to connect European food and beverage brands with Asian consumers. There is a need for high-quality European F&B brands in Asia. Many of the European manufacturers cannot find the right partner in Asia to show their brand in the right way in the market and achieve consistent sales – here, Food Linkers can help.
Why is it important to introduce these brands to Asia in particular?
The Asian market has a large potential for premium European brands, and consumers are searching for high-quality products and brands with a story to tell. The Asian market offers enormous opportunities for European brands, and we are serving the needs of consumers with quality brands.
What is your hero product?
Food Linkers focuses on a few fantastic brands, and the brands we work with are of the highest quality. Our hero products are Kyrö Distillery Company‘s award-winning gins, Koskue and Napue, which have won multiple awards including “Best Gin for Gin & Tonic” in 2015 at the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), an award considered amongst the highest recognitions you can get in the global wine and spirits industry.
Kyrö Distillery Company’s Napue Gin’s base is made of wholegrain rye, which is difficult to distill, but it’s worth it as it creates a gentle warmth and spice unique to this rye spirit. Using fresh botanicals foraged from the old Napue battleground, the gin boasts the scents and flavours of the quintessential Finnish forests. Think sweet meadows, sea buckthorn, cranberries and birch leaves. The low northern sun and length of day in the Finnish summer create a special intensity of flavour in the wild botanicals. Sweet as our misty morning meadow, flaming like our midnight sun and cool as the Finnish night, Kyrö Napue is a gin like no other.
What has the response been like to your products?
The response from the market has been great for our products, as the flavours, quality and our support for the sales have been appreciated. We have made a very careful choice of products in our portfolio so that they follow the highest standards. We are working with our sales points, providing them training, information and marketing support. Our brand ambassador for Kyrö Distillery, Steven Beerens, is based in Hong Kong and arranges events and training to bartenders.
Will you be adding further products in the future?
We will add more products to our portfolio in the future, and we are launching an amazing coffee brand – Löfbergs coffee from Sweden – and will also be launching a range of high-quality Bordeaux wines from Bayle-Carreau.
What other services does Food Linkers provide?
Food Linkers is established both in Hong Kong and Singapore and reaches a range of Asian markets such as Macau, Greater China, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. We offer sales-point training and materials, take part in events with our sales points and provide marketing support. Through our sister company, Pfonix, we offer our brands a full range of transformation and brand protection services for the market.