Flexi-Hex hits US shores following DIT support

A company that manufactures sustainable packaging for surfboards and drinks products has broken into the US market with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of the drive to level up businesses in the region.

Since 2019, its exports have grown by 2200% to the US, and its sales to the market are expected to reach over £2m by 2026.

Flexi-Hex was co-founded by twin brothers Will and Sam Boex who wanted to create a sustainable packaging solution for surfboards. The patented honeycomb sleeves are made of 100% recycled paper and biodegrade within eight weeks.

The company’s export sales have continued to grow, especially through the pandemic and various lockdowns around the globe. Flexi-Hex is now sold in 28 countries, linked to strong e-commerce sales. The business has seen solid sales growth in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the US. In the last 24 months, export sales have made up to 31% of revenue.

Since 2018, the business has received support from DIT including help to develop an export strategy. Flexi-Hex also took advantage of the Export Trade Forum project, a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded programme in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly which aims to equip businesses with the skills they need to export successfully overseas.

The US is the UK’s largest single trading partner, with total trade reaching over £196bn in 2020, and over 1.4 million people in the UK working for US companies.

In 2019, the UK and US had more than £760bn invested in each other’s economies, creating high-skilled jobs and supporting our communities.

Will Boex, co-founder of Flexi-Hex said: “My advice to other businesses is to get in touch with DIT as they will be able to answer any questions you have. Start small and make sure your product can sell.

“The US is very different from the UK and Europe and just because your product is selling well in the UK and Europe, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll sell there. You need to make sure you gain traction and build your brand there gradually.”

Paul Shand, Head of Trade for DIT in the South West said: “Flexi-Hex’s success in the US demonstrates the strong demand for high-quality UK goods overseas. DIT provide a range of services to help businesses on their export journey, including the Export Academy and Export Support Service. Businesses with strong ambitions to grow overseas should consider these as starting points on their journey.

“Companies such as Flexi-Hex may well benefit from future Trade Deals, working with DIT will ensure they are kept abreast of developments and opportunities.”