Inside Lund’s value-added growth plans
U.S. fresh and frozen seafood supplier Lund’s Fisheries is planning to significantly expand its value-added offerings to restaurants and retailers.
The Cape May, New Jersey-based company, which has primarily focused on processing squid and finfish caught off the East Coast of the U.S., will now offer more value-added calamari and sea scallop products.
The supplier’s products are currently sold to restaurant companies, as well as to Giant Eagle, ALDI, Price Chopper, and other U.S. grocery chains.
“We are looking to take the resources we are producing with our independently-owned and -operated boats and creating value-added products,” Wayne Reichle, who was recently promoted from vice president to president of Lund’s, told SeafoodSource.
New product lines that will be available in the next few months include individually quick-frozen (IQF) calamari and sauce packages, as well as IQF scallops and sauce packages. The “Seafood Market” scallops line – expected to be available by March 2018 – includes: Sea Scallops with Bacon Cream Sauce, Sea Scallops with Spicy Asian Sauce, Sea Scallops with White Wine Cream Sauce, and Sea Scallops with Butter Garlic Sauce.
“These are heat-and-serve products. Customers can go to a grocery store and then, in 15 to 20 minutes, they will have a wholesome seafood dinner they can serve a family,” Reichle said.
For the past five years, Lund’s has been producing calamari from squid caught off the coast of New Jersey and California.
“We are the only company that is harvesting all three species of commercially-caught squid in the U.S. There is a huge amount of calamari that is imported,” Reichle said.
Since there is a growing demand for domestic seafood, Reichle is optimistic that the new calamari and sauce packages (the flavors have not yet been finalized) will sell well.
“Calamari is on pretty much every menu we see these days,” Reichle said.
To assist with the value-added expansion, Lund’s promoted several executives from within the company and hired two executives. Randy Spencer, a chef who has worked with many species of fish and shellfish for the past 20 years, will be the new director of sales.
Lund’s also hired David Gray, who worked for many years in the scallop industry, as vice president of its value-added division.
“In this role, David will use his expertise in product development to create products that appeal to new markets – both domestic and international,” the company said in a statement.
In addition, Wayne Reichle has been promoted from vice president to president, while Jeff Reichle, Lund’s current president, will remain at Lund’s as chairman of the board.
Joe Davids was promoted to vice president of operations, and will oversee production of Lund’s new products as well as manage daily operations in Lund’s factories across the U.S.