Today we will share with you an entrepreneurial case study from Bhutan. The story of a company that can sell millions of nuts to Chinese consumers in an environmentally sustainable as well as profitable way…

How can Mountain Hazelnuts sell millions of nuts to Chinese consumers?

Mountain Hazelnut was founded by Daniel Spitzer and his wife Teresa Law in 2008. The company, located in Bhutan, is the largest private business group in the country and is nearly capable to sell 3% of the total world’s production of nuts. Environmental and social sustainability are the pillars on which Mountain Hazelnuts is founded. In fact, the company is helping Bhutan’s economy by offering jobs to its inhabitants through a green approach.

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And, thanks to the collaboration of Pinduoduo (PDD), China’s most innovative e-commerce platform, is also able to sell its premium quality hazelnuts to Chinese consumers.

How can Mountain Hazelnuts sell million of nuts in a sustainable way?

  1. Providing farmers with the trees.
  2. Providing farmers with the training and support needed.
  3. Teaching financial literacy and other business skills to farmers in order to let them become entrepreneurs.
  4. Buying the product to smallholder farmer families of vulnerable communities at a minimum fixed price.

What is the environmental impact?

In this way, Mountain Hazelnut is contributing to mitigate climate change because thanks to its ten million hazelnut trees can absorb eight million metric tons of atmospheric carbon. And more, by increasing the forest surface with high-level management practices and without herbicides, Mountain Hazelnut has been able to improve Bhutan’s soil and water quality.

Why Mountain Hazelnuts is selling on the Pinduoduo e-commerce platform?

Pinduoduo is the fastest-growing unicorn in the history of China and it is the only e-commerce platform in the country that has the mission of enhancing the rural areas. Then, Mountain Hazelnut and Pinduoduo have something in common.

What is Duo Duo Farm?

Duo Duo Farm is Pinduoduo’s program with the aim to improve living conditions in rural areas. Specifically, the group is transforming farmers into entrepreneurs by giving tools and information that can enhance the way of working from planting to selling.

To reach such an important objective Pinduoduo has created a subject called Duo Duo University. It is a training team in charge of teaching e-commerce operations and marketing skills to farmers. With this knowledge, new entrepreneurs can independently promote their products to Chinese consumers.

In China, the program has already offered 1,400 hours to more than 490 thousand farmers.

You can also read our Strategic Guide to Export Food Brands in China

Why do Chinese small agricultural enterprises sell on Pinduoduo?

E-commerce platforms and distributors, in general, asked a lot of money for their role of intermediation. Instead, Pinduoduo has cut these costs letting small companies have the possibility to join the platform at a reachable cost. This is because small enterprises can independently invest in promotion and distribution rather than pay incredibly high costs to distributors for these services.

Thanks to this innovative model, Chinese underdeveloped areas are becoming richer. More and more young Chinese that left their hometown for studying in big cities are actually coming back to rural areas for the new job opportunities the model has created.

The agricultural sector and all other positions an enterprise may require, from the marketing to the logistic sectors, are now available in these revitalized areas now.

Why a foreign enterprise should invest in Pinduoduo?

Pinduoduo entered cross-border e-commerce with an innovative formula. The formula is called “0 commission, 0 deductions”. From the name of the model, we can immediately understand that lower-cost services are the key drivers of Pinduoduo’s strategy once again.

In addition, when a company opened a store on the platform, it received support for all the online store operations and marketing activities.

To build brand awareness through Pinduoduo

Open a store on PDD is not only convenient for the price offered, but also because is an effective tool for the promotion of a brand. We can use two words for summarizing what is leading PDD to success: affiliate marketing & gamification.

The term affiliate marketing explains how PDD promotes brands through the users’ words of mouth. A typical PDD user, in fact, generally sends a product to many others for paying less and through the creation of a WeChat group. Higher is the number of the members, less is the price.

And then, the term gamification points out that many games are present on PDD. A typical user spends a lot of time on it since there are a lot of entertainment proposals. For instance, the lottery and the hongbao ranking.

To conclude on “how to sell millions of nuts from Bhutan to Chinese consumers”

Pinduoduo is a great character in the technologically innovative Chinese market. However, a foreign company cannot pretend to base all its investment on it and thinking to become popular in China.

This platform is very powerful, but the Chinese always check the online reputation of a brand before buying a product. Even distributors and e-commerce platforms are used to do it before accepting a collaboration.

Then, if you want to sell in China you need a local partner with years of experience in the digital marketing sector…

GMA is a digital marketing agency that offers different services, including:

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