Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s daughter has a lucrative business selling baby formula and other organic Aussie goods to the Chinese market.
Jessica Rudd, mother of , Josephine and McLean, saw the gap in the market when she lived in Beijing from 2009 to 2014.
It all stemmed from when she would return to Beijing from visits to Australia with a suitcase full of Aussie goodies and her Chinese friends would look on in awe.
“I would bring back my favourite products and my friends would come over and say – ‘That is so cool. What do you with that? How do you use this?’” she told The Australian Financial Review.
So when Jessica and her family moved back to Brisbane last year, she started up Jessica’s Suitcase – exporting organic Aussie goods including bubs Goat formula and baby food pouches, paw paw cream, shampoo and makeup.
Jessica with her daughter Josie and her dad and former PM Kevin Rudd.
$100,000 in sales in its first month alone
And it’s clear Jessica is on to a winner making $100,000 in sales in the first month alone after launching mid-way through last year.
A big push has been from her following of 600,000 people on Weibo – China’s social media network.
Her most popular product has been Organic Paw Paw and Honey Balm cream made by Australian producer, Suvana Organic. Jessica is selling an astounding 1500 to 2000 tubes every month to China.
Jessica is making a killing on the Paw Paw and Honey Balm cream.
Australia’s baby formula crisis
Australian baby formula has been in high demand by Chinese families ever since contaminated formula killed six babies in their country in 2008.
In some cases, Chinese university students who are living in Australia have been paid to systematically buy up as much formula as possible and ship it back overseas for resale. The products are so sought after that a tin could go for up to four times the retail price.
This crazy demand then caused a severe shortage of baby formula within Australia.
“I know what it’s like to be a mum in China,” Jessica says in a promotional video where she speaks in both English and Mandarin.
“I lived there for five years, my little girl is three. And I was worried when I looked outside at the pollution.”
The Aussie organic range that is on offer at Jessica’s Suitcase.
“I am trying to be encouraging and reassuring”
Jessica says that the majority of the Chinese purchase their products online as she recalls the elevators at her Beijing apartment would be full of delivery couriers at all sorts of hours.
“I am glad to be able to speak to these women about trusting their own instincts and having the courage to parent how they want to parent. It’s a difficult task for anyone, but particularly for Chinese mums. I am trying to be encouraging and reassuring.”