Success Stories

Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast’s programs.  As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorships, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees.  Read these success stories to learn more.

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Wisconsin Supplier Expands Exports

by Food Export | Aug 27, 2018
Death’s Door Spirits, based in Middleton, Wisconsin, began in 2005 as a means to restore agriculture and a sustainable farming economy to Washington Island, Wisconsin. Distilling since 2007, Death’s Door uses all of the winter wheat grown on the island in its spirits, and harvests juniper berries for its Gin. Death’s Door is one of the original craft spirits manufacturers in the United States and is proud to continue its commitment to the families on the island and to produce exceptional award-winning spirits.

Support from the Food Export Association of the Midwest Branded Program allowed Death’s Door Spirits to open new markets and fuel growth in current export markets since they started utilizing the program in 2012. In 2017 the Wisconsin based Supplier gained over 150 new foreign buyer contacts through fund utilization and also gained a 56% sales increase in exports to Belgium. Because of support of the program, Death’s Door is the top selling American gin in the United Kingdom.

Death’s Door Gin has fueled sales in export markets, making up more than 15 percent of its business. With such market success of the Gin and the reputation of the brand for creating high-quality craft spirits, 2016 saw the launch of Death’s Door Vodka and Wondermint Schnapps Liqueur in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Death’s Door Spirits also maintains a presence with its New Make Spirit in all of its export markets, and additionally with Kringle Cream in the United Kingdom and throughout Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Cambodia.

Involvement in the Branded Program has allowed Death’s Door Spirits to conduct marketing activities it would not have otherwise been able to do and remain competitive with larger global producers. Making its own base distillate from Midwestern grain in its own facility that opened in 2012, Death’s Door Distillery is the largest distillery in Wisconsin and one of the largest craft distilleries in the Midwest.  

Food Export uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products. As these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports.  

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