Food for thought as seafood supplier benefits from Asian restaurant growth
A global seafood manufacturer has announced over £5.7m of sales, just three years after launching its UK division in Wolverhampton.
Star Agro Marine Foods, which supplies sustainable shrimp and an increasing range of white fish, has seen orders increase by £2.3m this year, with its products now sold under private label brands into a host of Asian restaurants, including the Bilash, Tipu Sultan and Shere Khan.
This success has been boosted even further by the launch of a van distribution sales arm, which is delivering daily to hotels, caterers and independent retailers across the Midlands.
“The UK is major market for high quality, sustainable shrimp and this is reflected in the significant growth we have seen since 2012 when we started in a small office in the center of town,” explained Steve Money, Managing Director of Star Agro Marine Foods Ltd.
“Significant investment has been channeled into the development of our shrimp processing factory, farms and hatcheries in India by our parent company, where we can now produce up to 9000 tons per year of sustainable shrimp for our UK and European markets.”
He continued: “This additional capacity has been quickly snapped up and led to us moving to our site on the Fallings Park Industrial Estate and leasing cold storage space in Brierley Hill. We’ve also bought three new vans from Approved Vehicle Contracts in Wolverhampton.”
“Our workforce has increased from two to six and I can see this trebling when you consider we are looking to create another five satellite offices to provide complete national coverage.”
Backed by its £30m-strong Indian parent, Star Agro Marine Foods provide full traceability from hatchery to delivery to its customers.
It produces and processes antibiotic free products for its ‘Star Feast’ brand or private label where tailor made packaging and products are developed in line with the requirements of its client base.
Shrimp is available in cooked and raw form, marinade, butterfly, EZ peel, skewer or varieties such as fresh water, black tiger or the increasingly popular Vannamei.
“Customer service is at the heart of everything we do and means we can offer complete flexibility for our customers, shorter lead times and, importantly, access to some of the best tasting, ethically produced shrimp in the world,” added Steve.
“Our reputation is growing and not only in our domestic markets. Thanks to a recent appearance at the Anuga Food Show we have enquiries from customers in Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Holland and Spain.”
Well-known restaurant entrepreneur Mohammed Khan has been brought in to support and offer consultancy on Star Agro Marine Foods’ next stage of its development.
The owner of The Bilash restaurant has been impressed with the company’s rapid growth and is now going to use his contacts to open doors with Asian restaurants and to secure corporate accounts with sporting stadium and leading business venues.
He concluded: “I have been hugely impressed with what has initially been achieved in the UK and there is a lot of demand for its products currently out there.
“2016 looks like it could bring in £7m of sales, but this is just the start. With global investment in the business at an all-time high and a more pro-active approach to marketing, there really is a massive opportunity for us to exploit.”