Findus-Sea Harvest

Sea Harvest and Findus: Set to shake up SA frozen food market

Sea Harvest has realised a long-planned project to tie up with major Swedish frozen foods producer, the Findus Group, one of Europe’s largest frozen food and seafood companies and a leading overall food manufacturer. Its top quality frozen veg and ready meals are already in selected Pick n Pay stores nationwide.

Commenting on current frozen foods choices available to consumers, MD of Sea Harvest, George Bezuidenhout said, “Unfortunately, the development of cutting-edge frozen convenience foods has sadly been lagging behind in terms of innovation and variety in South Africa.

“We believe that the exciting products in the Findus range will stimulate the frozen food category by appealing  to the lifestyle needs of contemporary South African consumers.”

FindusHe added that Sea Harvest’s expertise in the frozen foods and perishables category perfectly position the company to offer the Findus range of products which will complement Sea Harvest’s current product range.

“Findus is by no means new to Sea Harvest. We have been exporting fish to Findus for more than ten years. It was inevitable, because of our joint expertise in the frozen foods industry and the synergies we enjoy, that this would lead to our both identifying further business growth opportunities.”

Findus, he said, has points of difference in contrast to local products in that its product quality emphasis is based primarily on taste, food safety and agricultural sustainability, all of which will appeal to the local South African market.

Findus’s export director, Mats Jornell commented that Findus is proud to enter the South African market with their range of frozen foods which he believes will help grow the category, attract new consumers to frozen foods and inspire current local users of frozen foods.

He believes that his company’s products will shake up consumer’s perceptions and expectations of frozen foods and wake up the commercial frozen food category in South Africa.

FindusIn addition, Jornell also made reference to Findus’s Low Input Sustainable Agriculture (LISA) policy and practices in Sweden which he said are in place to ensure best global practice in terms of optimum growing conditions for their peas and vegetables and by extension, to their wide range of value-added ready meal foods.

The initial Findus range from South Africa comprises four categories:

Findus Wok – Thai, Classic, Chinese and Gold. These crispy, crunchy world-class Wok vegetables include exotic ingredients such as water chestnuts, lotus root, green garlic, cabbage flower, Chinese mushrooms, bamboo shoots and sugar snap peas.

World Selection – a range of convenience meals inspired from cuisines from around the world: Conchiglie Pasta & Salmon, Linguine Pasta & Shrimp, Teryiyaki Beef, Thai Red Curry and Indian Tikka Masala. All contain a fusion of flavours and textures.

FindusSingle Vegetables and Vegetables Mixes – “simply the finest baby carrots, the sweetest of peas and the perfect harmony of carefully crafted vegetable mixes”.  The climate in southern Sweden produces top-notch, slowly-ripened, tender sweet peas and vegetables. Findus crops are closely nurtured by the Findus environmental team to ensure that every single vegetable crop complies with its advanced and sustainable agricultural practices.

SKUs will include Findus Baby Carrots, Swedish Peas, Swedish Finest Peas, Broccoli Mexicana and Delicacy Mix.

Classic Pasta – authentic, and ready in minutes.

The Findus range of products is available nationally in selected Pick ‘n Pay stores on an exclusive basis for one year.

On price points, Bezuidenhout said they were locally competitive for their respective sectors.

South Africa is Findus’s 31st retail market. With an annual turnover in excess of £1.1-billion, the Findus Group has over 6 400 employees, 21 manufacturing sites in five countries and produces 345 000 tonnes of food annually.

FindusFindus is the leading branded frozen food manufacturer in the Nordic region with market leadership in each of the frozen ready meals, fish and vegetables segments in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The Nordic operations are widely regarded as the “jewel in the crown” of the Findus Group and about a third of its overall revenues come from the Nordic region. Findus has a robust presence in both the UK and France.

Sea Harvest’s major shareholder is Brimstone Investment Corporation which also has investments in food companies Oceana and Taste Holdings. Bezuidenhout said that Sea Harvest’s initiative with Findus is aligned to Brimstone’s strategic intent to grow in the food sector.