Gluten and wheat-free brand Lovemore is set to extend into the Chinese market after attending a trade event in the country last month.

The Welsh Hills Bakery-owned brand joined a 30-strong delegation from South Wales at the trade promotion event in Wuhan to discuss opportunities in Hubei Province.

It was clear there is a “major opportunity” to import gluten and wheat-free cakes and biscuits into the country, said Welsh Hills Bakery commercial head Julian Cruttenden.

He added that the business had identified solid leads and held meetings with major businesses including the Wushan Trading Company, which operates 90 hypermarkets in Hubei Province.

“We are fully confident these will result in Lovemore exporting to China in 2017,” said Cruttenden.  “It was a fantastic informative and educational visit which provided an invaluable market entry study and served us a wonderful introduction to the Chinese market.”

Lovemore – which produces products including shortbreads, cookies, pies, tarts and slices – already sells into the US, Australia, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Hungary, the Middle East, the Netherlands, Malta, France and Germany. Since last year it has expanded into Finland, and into central Europe with Tesco.

The trade visit was part of ‘Wales Week’, which was opened by Lord Mayor of Swansea David Hopkins and Wuhan’s Vice-Mayor Shao. During the initiative, the delegation visited the Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone, Wuhan Zall Football Club and a local elderly care centre.

Lovemore was invited by the China-Britain Business Council’s Wuhan office along with other local companies from business, industry, cultural and education sectors.