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Fiji Kava shares rocket as it takes on China's 'brand graveyard'

Business

Little-known Brisbane company Fiji Kava had its day in the sun this week when its share price jumped as much as 90 per cent after announcing a deal that will give it access to the China market.

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The agreement with PuMate was considered to be the company’s most significant commercial deal.

It would target a minimum $8 million over the three-year term.

The company now has on its board Nick Simms, the former Bubs chief executive who has experience in cracking the vast China market.

Simms said the market spike was gratifiying but the company had been undervalued and overlooked for some time.

He said Fiji Kava was taking a cautious approach to China.

“There’s a very large graveyard of unsuccessful brands in China,” he told InQueensland.

“Most of the brands that pushed and loaded their product into the market are ones that came undone.

“I’d rather be on the side of caution than allow those negatives for pushing too hard.”

He said kava had taken off globally and in the US there were now several hundred kava bars. The product is also already recognised by China’s food and drug administration.

The kava will be first sold online and to licensed manufacturers although there is also a push to get it into retail outlets.

“We have bigger aspirations than just Australia,” Simms said.

“There is a growing Chinese investment in the Pacific with the two regions sharing strong ties and Fiji is a signatory to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

“This unique partnership enables us to capture the growing demand for kava in China as part of our offering as a vertically integrated primary producer and process of Fijian noble kava.”

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