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Born global: Deliciou’s journey from bacon seasoning to big business

Deliciou is making its mark in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. The tagline “Makes anything taste like bacon” encapsulates founder Kjetil (KJ) Hansen’s original dream.

Deliciou was born global. The flagship bacon seasoning was birthed from KJ’s kitchen in Melbourne and sold back to friends and family in Europe. “We were able to create the global customer base from very early on, which really made a huge difference in our brand awareness and customer reach.” – KJ

Deliciou now has over 80 per cent of its sales from Europe and North America, offering a range of plant-based products via its e-commerce platform. It is “on a mission to make plant-based cooking easy and delicious for everyone”. Internationally-focused backers, such as US-based venture capital firm, Stray Dog Capital, and Blackmore’s Peter Osborne, signals Deliciou’s further expansion into the United States of America, Europe and Asia. 

Peter Park, Business Improvement Manager, has been at the forefront of Deliciou’s global growth. In particular, he has been instrumental in ensuring the finance infrastructure is in place for overseas expansion. With a background in venture capital and financial consulting, Peter stepped into his role at Deliciou just over a year ago to scale the business.

Many businesses within the FMCG sector start with a bricks-and-mortar presence. However, Deliciou has been online from day one. By going global, they could respond to the growing interest in vegan products. “I think our brand and the sorts of products that we offer, blend well with the trend that’s going on in the world… the food trend is also about engaging in something more meaningful ethically and environmentally.” – KJ

Bypassing bottlenecks: instant transactions with Airwallex

“If you’re a global business, there are global customers – and those global customers don’t pay in Australian dollars.” – Peter Park

For Deliciou, a great customer experience means that customers are not charged unnecessary foreign transaction fees. The purchase experience must be seamless. For many international organisations, this means engaging different payment platforms, and the trade-off is that this locks up cash for the business. 

As a problem-solver, Peter needed to find a way to bypass embedded bottlenecks within the global banking system.

Airwallex’s virtual accounts in the United Kingdom, European Union and United States of America have enabled Deliciou to collect revenue in local currencies and send it back to Australia at a fraction of the cost, saving them almost four per cent on the margin. Deliciou’s payment processing time has gone from three to four days down to one to two days using Airwallex.

“If you want to go global, get [on with] Airwallex now…the word global and Airwallex should always go together.” – Peter Park

Peter’s advice to businesses thinking about international expansion is simple. Think cashflow. By mapping out the cash journey, businesses are able to identify potential roadblocks, like setting up foreign bank accounts – which can take months, freeing up cash from payment gateways. For Peter, “Airwallex was the tool that enabled a very efficient cash journey… not many tools can do that.”

Big ambitions: What’s next for Deliciou?

Deliciou has big ambitions. Pursuing a 300-400 per cent growth off the back of success in Europe and North America, Deliciou is looking to expand to more countries with wholesale being a significant go to market channel. With continued global expansion of the business, Peter is insistent that Airwallex will be part of the journey.

Are you expanding internationally? Find out how Airwallex can help you here