5 Minutes with Raphaël De Ry- Founder, Edgar and Apis Cerana Limited
Raphaël De Ry is the founder of Edgar and Apis Cerana Limited, a Hong Kong based organic food distributor and concept store. Raphaël established his organic business close to the launch of Natural & Organic Products Asia (NOPA) in Hong Kong four years ago. With increasing market demand for organic and healthy food, Raphaël further expanded his business, launching the Edgar food store at Hong Kong Art Mall, K11, to promote the concepts of zero-package and eco-friendly bulk buying.
Growing up in the French-speaking region of Switzerland, Raphaël confesses himself to be a foodie, heavily influenced by French and Italian cuisine. Inspired by his new born child, he decided to import premium healthy snacks and organic infant products to Asia, a business which grew significantly. Taking inspiration from zero-packaging stores across Europe, Raphaël recently opened his first food store in Asia.
Raphaël shares details on his revolutionary Edgar concept and how he made his way in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.
What do you think about the latest natural and organic trends in Hong Kong and Greater China markets?
As more and more consumers become educated and aware of the benefits of natural and organic products, we are seeing year-on-year increases in demand from the Hong Kong and the Greater China markets. These are both catching up quickly to mature markets like the US and Europe.
What are the strategies for new brands entering new markets? What should be done to help western brands meet consumer tastes in Asia?
Getting local support from local organizations such as InvestHK helps a lot. Consumers in Asia are very focused on health benefits; showcasing the health benefits of high-quality organic foods will help satisfy their needs.
What are your strategies for increasing product awareness?
We believe that the 5 senses–taste, sight, touch, smell, hearing– are the best marketing tool around. We let consumers try our products and make their own judgement, and from there it is a matter of word of mouth to promote our products.
What are your strategies for sourcing natural and organic products?
We work with and build relationships with reputable suppliers who not only have a long track record of sourcing organic produce but are also ethically responsible and support environmentally-sustainable farming.
What is the Edgar’s Vision?
Edgar’s vision is to promote the shopping concept of buying in bulk and its advantages: cheaper prices, lower carbon footprint, freshness, zero waste and more.
The above is just an extract of our interview with Mr. Raphaël De Ry, Founder of Edgar.
How do you see the rise of eCommerce? How do you handle it?
It is essential. Select the right tools, even if they are more expensive than the rest, if you want to develop correctly, it pays in the long run.
What new things you will introduce in NOPA 2017?
It is a surprise…All I can say it is that it is packaged in bulk. Come and visit us at D01 to find out!