Viciunai strengthens its French presence through new acquisition
Lithuanian surimi producer Viciunai Group has acquired the French food distributor CS France, as part of its strategy to strengthen its position in the country.
The move will enable Vicinai to sell its products to a market of 65 million consumers with a tradition of eating fish and seafood, said company CEO Šarūnas Matijošaitis.
“We have long realized that a truly ambitious business development in any market is possible only by having [our] own company there and by combining the competence of Lithuanian executives and local sales, marketing and other professionals,” he said.
CS France currently has up to 15 percent of France’s surimi market, and Viciunai sees plenty of scope for growth, which it will support with its Viči brand and a broad portfolio of products, including salmon, herring, fish fingers and dumplings.
"We have carefully prepared this step, we have a clear action plan, so I have no doubt that sales will increase significantly in the medium-term, and at least one-third of our products distributed in France will be Viči branded products. However, first of all, it is necessary to properly integrate the new company into the entire Viciunai group structure, to create a sustainable relationship between group leaders, production people and local professionals in the new company. Practice shows that it may take up to a year to do this, then we will see the true potential of the company," said Matijošaitis.
Viciunai products have been distributed in France since the 2000s with placings in retailers Carrefour, Casino and E.Leclerc.
Established in 1991, Viciunai consists of 80 companies in 17 countries with a total annual production of 158,000 metric tons (MT).