Lund’s Fisheries' CEO Wayne Reichle: Scallops, calamari center firm's sales strategy
Cape May, New Jersey, U.S.A.-based Lund’s Fisheries’ latest investment in its scallop operations is one part of the company’s long-term sales strategy, Lund’s Fisheries CEO Wayne Reichle told SeafoodSource.
Lund’s announced in early January it has purchased a new USD 2 million (EUR 1.8 million) tunnel freezer for its operations in Cape May – a move Reichle said geared toward enhancing the control of the scallop resources the company processes.
Lund's currently operates 20 fishing vessels and is also a significant importer of scallops, having entered the U.S. scallop business around a decade ago. Reichle said the company has continually invested in growing its scallop-processing capacity as demand has consumer demand has grown for the species.
Despite a recent lowering of scallop quotas in the U.S. Northeast, Reichle said Lund's made its most recent move to upgrade its scallop-processing equipment because his company is confident the resource will rebound over time thanks to solid management practices.
“The scallop fishery is still, in our mind, a gold standard as far as management is concerned globally,” he said. “We’re in a position where we’re in a down cycle right now, but that will turn around in years to come.”
Lund's is also working its way through the current domestic supply crunch with help from its wide range of scallop imports, Reichle said.
“We’re not only handling domestic scallops, but we’re handling product from Japan and Peru,” he said. “It’s not just U.S. We’re fully entrenched in the business, and we’re able to offer people – anyone that’s in the retail or foodservice sectors – a full line of scallop and calamari products.”
In 2021, Lund's moved to expand its storage and processing footprint with a new 90,000-square-foot cold and dry storage facility. Simultaneously, Lund's is working to fully integrate its operations – in addition to its investments in infrastructure, the company has also moved more into marketing and direct sales, including B2C business.
“As we built that infrastructure, we didn’t pay a lot of attention to marketing of our own products. Now in the last two years, we hired a new sales director – Mark Fratiello – and several key salespeople to help us grow our footprint in the market,” he said.
The business continues to scale up, Reichle said.
“The steps that we took two years ago – expanding our sales team, working with a national broker – those steps are really helping drive our decisions today,” Reichle said. “That’s where we see our growth and strength in the future, being able to handle a lot of these accounts directly rather than working indirectly through other people.”
In the calamari and squid space, Lund’s has continued to fish in all three of the major U.S. squid fisheries – East Coast illex squid and both East Coast and West Coast loligo squid – and the company has been a part of efforts to obtain Marine Stewardship Council certification for the three fisheries. The remaining uncertified fishery, the California market squid purse-seine fishery for loligo, is currently in the MSC assessment process, with approval for certification coming “sometime in September” according to Reichle.
“Calamari has always been a very integral part of our business,” Reichle said. “We have boats fishing in all of those fisheries, we have three processing plants that are producing in all three of those fisheries, and that’s always been one of the biggest items.”
Photo courtesy of Lund's Fisheries