Your partners for sustainable growth
Just as the cocoon of a silkworm is refined and crafted to produce an exquisite silk cloth, we’ll take your brand through the same transformative process to leave Chinese consumers captivated.
As a food and beverage brand trying to expand its footprint within China, it can almost seem impossible. From understanding the unique consumer landscape to evaluating the competition, lacking the right brand and business strategy can be detrimental.
That’s where we come in. As an insights-driven brand consultancy with decades of expertise within the Chinese packaged food and beverage industry, we pride ourselves on helping our clients achieve exceptional growth.
Armed with the perfect combination of insight, strategy, innovation, and design, we take a holistic approach with every strategy to ensure that your brand will thrive.
Here’s What We Believe In
While the “Silk” in our name represents the transformation we’ll take your brand through, the “Initiative” stands for what we believe in. That is to go the extra distance to surpass our clients’ expectations through creativity, tenacity, and by always being on the leading edge of the latest consumer insights and what these mean for your brand strategy.
Client Services Director, North America
Senior Client Manager
Associate Brad Consultant
Andrew is the founder and CEO of The Silk Initiative, China’s only specialised food and beverage insights-driven brand consultancy. A native Australian, Andrew managed a global career where he quickly climbed the ladder of large agencies in Shanghai, New York, and Sydney before carving out his own path with the launch of TSI.
As the CEO, he’s here to give your brand a bridge into the Chinese consumer food and beverage market through brand development and innovative product solutions. With over 15 years of experience working with major brands including Campbell’s, PepsiCo, Arla, Vita Coco, Goodman Fielder, Pizza Hut, US Dairy, New Zealand King Salmon and Mars Wrigley, Andrew has a strong understanding of the strategic approach brands need to thrive within the Chinese market. His expertise has led to him being featured in major publications including Smart Insights and Entrepreneur and being called on by think tanks, banks, and government organisations wanting China consumer and branding expertise.
When he isn’t helping his clients’ brands prosper, you’ll find Andrew entertaining guests with his partner, experimenting with new cuisines or showcasing his 34-year expertise on the bagpipes – much to the delight of his neighbours.
Client Services Director, North America
Tom is our passionate client services director based in the US who’s here to listen to the needs of our US clients and work closely with our Shanghai based team to design and implement the right engagement to meet client needs. With decades of experience in branding, communication, and research, he understands the importance of gaining a deep insight into your ideal consumers’ psyche and tailoring your marketing efforts to speak directly to their needs.
A trusted advisor to companies such as Procter & Gamble, Abbott Nutrition, and Merck, he leverages his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for results to help his clients develop, package, and launch their products and services. At TSI, he leveraged this same innovative approach with brand and new product development to support our recent work with Campbell Soup Company brand Tim Tams and their expansion into China.
When he isn’t striving to achieve exceptional results for his clients, you’ll find Tom indulging his passion for yoga and photography or planning his next trip to Thailand with his family.
Senior Client Manager
As our senior client manager, Joel is here to be your strategic frontline partner by helping you push your brand and new product development forward. With a sharp mind for marketing and a passion for achieving growth within the fast-changing Chinese market, he’ll target the right consumers, with the right questions to get you the insights you need to succeed.
This passion for sustained growth has helped Joel excel at TSI. From developing market entry strategies for large brands, such as Mars, Campbells, Simplot and Vita Coco, to helping design teams craft exquisite packaging that resonates with local consumers, his keen eye for strategy and branding is second only to his drive for results.
With a curious mind and a craving for new experiences, Joel makes an effort to try a new, exotic Chinese dish every weekend in Shanghai. When he isn’t indulging in a new culinary experience, you’ll find him train hopping and exploring different parts of the country.
With a personality that’s as cheery as her name, Cherie is one of our expert qualitative research moderators who helps us execute on the many consumer focus groups that we conduct in China. Starting her insights career many moons ago with NFO Worldgroup, Cherie is one of the few Unilever accredited moderators in China (a tough gig to make) with over 15 years of experience working across sectors. She’s also lucky enough (or maybe not…) to have been working with our CEO Andrew now for more than 17 years in Shanghai!
With exceptional bi-lingual capabilities and cross-cultural experience from her years spent abroad in New Zealand, she brings her diverse cultural perspective to every client engagement. She’s worked with many of TSI’s esteemed global clients clients including Pepsi Quaker and across multiple Campbell Soup Company brands including Kjeldsens, Tim Tams and Goldfish to help them gain the consumer insights needed to grow their brands in China.
A fitness enthusiast who loves to stay active, you’ll find her destressing from a busy week by playing her favourite sport or by breaking a sweat in the gym.
A master of organisation and project planning, Jie is our in-house project coordinator who’s here to ensure that your project engagement with us gets executed when it should, the way it should.
With previous experience in market research agencies, she has a strong intuition for what it takes to leave a consumer delighted. It’s this passion for market research and her vision to bring high-quality health and food products to Chinese consumers that brought her to the doors of TSI.
An avid fashion lover with a keen eye for the latest fashion trends, when she isn’t showcasing the latest styles, you’ll find her experimenting with a new recipe to create her next culinary masterpiece.
With a natural talent for data analysis, Andrew is our client manager who’s here to ensure that our clients meet their research and brand strategy objectives. From ensuring accurate data collection to producing strategic stories from the data that’s collected, he’s here to help you identify the most effective strategies to propel your brand forward.
Originally from sunny Sydney, Australia, Andrew started his career at Milward Brown where he specialised in taking quantitative research projects from conception to completion for some of the world’s largest brands including Kellogg’s, Blackmores, & Unilever. His passion for research, coupled with a love for China, led him to the doors of TSI where he leverages his wide expertise to help our clients prosper within the local Chinese market.
An avid traveller and an enthusiastic sportsman, when he isn’t out on the field indulging his competitive side, you’ll find him in the kitchen experimenting with new and exotic recipes.
Associate Brad Consultant
Hailing from spicy Chengdu, Jean is TSI’s newest member. She brings a strong agency-side PR background to round out offerings for our client partners. As an account manager at Edelman, Jean worked with a number of international companies on their brand development and insight generation. She was also involved in strategic planning for Hylink Digital Solutions.
When it comes to F&B, Jean loves that everyone has an opinion. “We all eat, and we all know what we like and don’t like. These different opinions lead to some great insights.” A self-proclaimed coffee snob, Jean spends her weekends exploring Shanghai’s blossoming beverage scene.
Insights Driven Brand Consultants
We utilize world-class qualitative and quantitative research tools to help ensure solid strategic direction for our engagements. Depending on engagement need and budget we utilize online and offline, primary and secondary sources.
Digital, web scrape on category marketing mix propositions to determine what client optimal mix should be, based on consumer feedback and sales for their category.
Expert and network interviews to help client keep their finger on the pulse of the next big thing in food and beverage.
An exclusive first hand mental and physical immersion of Chinese culture, through online KOL commentary, and offline store and city exploration.
Make your target your friend via TSI's exclusive online WeChat Panel -a fast and efficient way to sense check an idea or just say hello.Read More
A break down on Chinese pop culture with TSI experts, to decode the colours, messages, connotations or photography need for your brand.