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[DTC POD Ep. 54] – Jing Gao's journey to bring high-quality Chinese food products to the US and battle high-demand

Podcast | Jay Desai | November 12th 2020

  1. “I remember walking the halls of EXPO West and not really seeing any multicultural food brands. That was my ‘aha’ moment to build this brand.” @jennygao #DTCPOD
  2. “I spent years sourcing the best quality ingredients all across China for my restaurants, my private dining concept, and knew that great flavors were universal.” @jennygao #DTCPOD
  3. “The fact that we small-batch craft the sauces in my hometown and we use extremely specific ingredients helps set our product apart.” @jennygao #DTCPOD
  4. “We decided to switch to pre-orders when we ran out of inventory and were clear in communicating when customers could expect their product.” @jennygao #DTCPOD
  5. “When we had to change out supply chain from China to the US because of COVID, I actually encountered some of the same challenges I had overseas.” @jennygao #DTCPOD

We Speak About:

  • [01:15] About Fly By Jing and Jing before she started her business
  • [03:40] How Fly By Jing got its start
  • [06:45] Why Jing decided to go the CPG route
  • [09:00] How Jing used Kickstarter to fuel her business
  • [10:00] How Jing was able to bridge the missing gap of high-quality Chinese products
  • [11:40] Challenges Jing faced bringing high-quality products from China to the market
  • [12:20] Jing talks about her brand’s moat
  • [13:30] How Jing was able to scale her product
  • [15:30] Jing discusses how she handled demand from her Kickstarter
  • [18:30] Why Jing saw a demand increase at the beginning of COVID
  • [21:30] How to handle being out of stock and avoid missed revenue
  • [24:20] How Jing dealt with supply chain issues overseas due to COVID
  • [27:05] Jing’s advice for other founders
  • [30:20] Who and what inspires Jing
  • [32:35] What’s next for Fly By Jing

Smart founders find market gaps and capitalize on them

Jing Gao, founder & CEO of Fly By Jing, joins the POD to talk about importing products and dealing with increased demand.

Fly By Jing is a brand that brings the deep and complex flavors of China to the world through artisanal food products.

Jing’s “aha” moment into the CPG space started with a visit to the EXPO West conference. During the conference, Jing realized how underrepresented multicultural brands were.

Before Jing started Fly By Jing, she had experience in creating restaurants. Using her experience, her motivation to bring a Chinese CPG product to the US market, and her understanding of Chinese flavors, Jing created Fly By Jing.

Ever since the beginning, Jing wanted to make sure she was bringing authentic flavors to the market.

For Jing, that meant using a supply chain solely based out of China.

It was a challenge to manufacture the product overseas but Jing knew doing so would help achieve her goal of creating a superior product.

Sometimes, external factors can still derail a great product

Although Jing had found her moat, external factors challenged business growth.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jing’s supply chain hit a snag. She had to quickly pivot and meet orders that had already been placed.

To add pressure, marketing efforts pre-COVID were finally starting to pay off. Jing had a ton of demand on hand but not as much supply.

Jing was able to shift manufacturing temporarily to the US to deal with increased demand. She also did a great job managing expectations and creating a pre-order process on her site.

Even with the state of the world in flux, Jing was able to meet her orders and have very little cancellations.

Stay tuned as Jing covers how she built demand for her product, how she leveraged Kickstarter, and how she solved challenges bringing in a product from overseas.

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Mentioned Links:

Jing’s article on what she learned from making hot sauce at scale: https://medium.com/s/story/what-i-learned-from-making-hot-sauce-at-scale-2cbb8ec709ba

Jing’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennygao

Fly By Jing’s website: https://www.flybyjing.com/

Fly By Jing’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flybyjing/

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