01 Dec 2017 | 04.31 pm
Keohane Seafoods Lands Lidl Contract
Deal for packed salmon worth €6m a year
01 Dec 2017 | 04.31 pm
Bantry fish firm Keohane Seafoods has landed a €6m-plus deal with Lidl, under which it will supply packaged salmon darnes to 120 Lidl outlets in the UK.
The family-run business’s existing relationship with Lidl Ireland facilitated the deal, under which packaged fish will go from West Cork to depots in Bridgend, Weston Super Mare and Enfield in England.
Managing director Mike Keohane said: “Our partnership with Lidl Ireland has deepened over the years. We started supplying Lidl back in the year 2012 and thanks to an excellent working relationship with them we have been able to take this step into the UK market. The deal which allows us to deliver into 3 depots and reach 120 stores is a massive opportunity for us and will mean we have the ability to reinvest into our Cork based operations and future-proof our business.”
Lidl Ireland managing director John Paul Scally added: “The close working relationships we have with our international buying colleagues offers new avenues for many of our 200 Irish suppliers. Last year alone, we exported over €200m worth of Irish products to Lidl stores in 17 countries.”
Keohane Seafoods has enjoyed a meteoric rise since father-and-son Michael and Colman set up their seafood business in Cork in 2010. Michael had been in the seafood business for 30 years and ran Bantry Bay Seafoods, with his sons working alongside him from an early age.
When Michael retired from the business in 2007, he and his sons came together to develop a microwaveable seafood meal, so that a consumer could cook a piece of seafood straight from the shelf without having to touch it or pierce the packaging. As well as being easy to handle, the packing process removes all the oxygen, which extends the shelf life of the seafood by a few days.
The microwaveable packs were a huge hit with Irish consumers, and went on to make a mark overseas also. The first company in Europe to produce a ‘microwaveable from frozen’ seafood range, Keohane Seafoods has grown to employ 85 people in Cork and Bantry.
The range of fresh fish fillets and accompanying flavoured butters and sauces are free of preservatives, additives, chemicals, flavourings, stabilisers and GMO ingredients.
Photo: Mike Keohane (centre) with minister Michael Creed (left) and John Paul Scally, managing director of Lidl Ireland. (Pic: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision)