See event listings and more articles in this edition of Agri-News: May 24, 2022 issue
“As a new entrant to the Japanese market, Confetti Sweets has worked closely with the Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development (AFRED) team and the Alberta International Office in Japan to participate in local events such as virtual Foodex Japan, held in March 2022,” says Stefanie Braz, international initiatives officer with AFRED. “And that hard work has paid off.”
In March 2022, the Japan Food Trade Journal published an article about Sherwood Park-based company Confetti Sweets.
“We are so very lucky to have the support of Mary Beth Takao from the Alberta Agriculture team in Japan. The guidance and knowledge she has given us have been invaluable in our export journey, and we could not have done it without her,” says Confetti Sweets president Kathy Leskow.
Leskow, an entrepreneur and mother of 3, started her business by making homemade cookies and selling them at local farmers' markets. With growing demand for her product, she opened her Sherwood Park bake shop in 2014 and her cookie mix is now available in 200 retailers across Canada.
Leskow chose Japan as her first overseas market because of her deep connection with the country teaching English in Tokyo for 2 years. Her mother would send her cookies from Canada that Kathy shared with her students and Japanese friends.
She found that the cookies were so well received that she wanted more Japanese people to taste them one day, but "I never dreamt that I would be selling cookie mixes in Japan as the president of a sweets company", she says.
Two Confetti Sweets cookie mixes, Chocolate Chunk and Sugar (a vanilla sugar cookie with sprinkles) are set to arrive for the first time through Costco Japan this spring. The cookie mix is being marketed as an easy way to make cookies that are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside by adding simple ingredients and cooking for 15 minutes.
“The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade agreement between Canada and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific has made it more possible for Canadian companies to enter markets like Japan,” says Braz.
To access services provided by AFRED, please contact AFRED’s Export Development Team.
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