Gutwein Popcorn, based in Francesville, was part of a 20 member delegation to China. Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann indicated the aim of the trade mission was to meet with government officials to develop relationships. Gutwein Popcorn already carries out business in neighboring Asian economies such as South Korea and Japan.
Owner Harvey Gutwein says they are looking to expand their sales into China.
“I wanted to go over there and see what the potential is and try to meet people that my company would find of interest, you know, that type of product,” says Gutwein.
Gutwein says no production would take place in China, but marketing the product in bulk form would be the primary focus. Chinese businesses would then package the popcorn products.
The trade delegation visited Chengdu, located in Sichuan province – which is more inland, and where agricultural activities take place. Time was also spent in Beijing and a neighboring port city.
Gutwein says he hopes the talks were productive.
“When you’re on your first trip, the first trip is usually relationship building, not order taking,” says Gutwein. “We didn’t expect to get orders the first, initial trip. Hopefully the people we met, hopefully it builds a relationship which hopefully turns to business later on.”
Previous trips have yielded results in the form of increasing relationships with Taiwan, according to Gutwein.
He says additional orders from overseas could have an impact, locally. Any increase in demand would lead to a need for additional corn production.