Glory Europe looking to freeze out European competition
Founded just two years ago and based in Hengelo, The Netherlands, seafood freezing equipment manufacturer Glory Europe is quickly gaining recognition for quality, according to Carlo Kroeze, the company’s CEO and head of sales.
The company’s line of super-quick freezers and fully synchronized freezing lines can take seafood from 18 degrees Celsius to negative-18 degrees in 10 minutes – key to achieving a deep, dry freeze that locks in quality and freshness, Kroeze said. And the machines are also capable of working fast – processing up to 1,000 kilograms per hour.
“We’re aim for bigger industry players, processing higher volumes of product,” Kroeze told SeafoodSource on the eve of Seafood Expo Global, where the company will be exhibiting for the second time.
Overall sales totals are still low – to be expected for a start-up, Kroeze said – but Glory Europe has picked up some key clients and Kroeze is confident that the company will continue to grow.
“As a completely new company, it’s tough to enter the European market,” he said. “We need a little bit of time, but I know with the low energy consumption of our machines and their low total cost of ownership, along with people starting to appreciate the overall quality they deliver, we will gain market share in the next few years. We are confident that if we keep on delivering quality, we’ll make progress.”
Glory Europe does have a major leg up in Europe due to its close ties with the Vietnam-based Glory, one of Southeast Asia’s largest seafood equipment manufacturers. Glory's quick-freezing machines and freezing lines can be found in most Vietnamese pangasius and Indian shrimp processing plants, and the company also has a sizeable presence in the Philippines and Bangladesh.
The two companies are controlled by the same ownership group, but are independent of each other, Kroeze said. But Glory Europe was set up to address specific issues required by the European Union, and to market the company’s machines as “Made in the E.U.,” according to Kroeze.
“The big challenge that led to the decision to create a separate company was the unique requirements required to comply with European regulations,” he said. “Most of the techniques were already used in Asia, but there was enough difference to make it easier simply to create a new company. We adjusted the necessary things to comply with the rules but we are basically selling the same technology and machines.”
Glory Europe got a big break last year when it picked up a client in the Dutch shrimp sector. Kroeze offered a special deal to the early adopter – using a plug-and-play freezing machine that could be quickly installed, he gave the client six months to change its mind on the purchase.
“Because we are a new company, we knew they saw risks in working with us. So we told them, ‘If [the machine] doesn’t comply with your expectations, we can pick it up again pretty easily.’ After six months, [the client] was satisfied, they bought the machine, and now we take customers to see that one to show them how it can work for them,” Kroeze said.
That type of proof is exactly what Kroeze himself needed before he decided to take on the task of forming Glory Europe. In 2016, Kroeze traveled to India and Vietnam to see Glory’s machines in action and talk to clients with experience with the machines.
"I had heard nice stories, but I needed to see if clients were satisfied,” he said. “I traveled thousands of kilometers, visited too many factories, and heard from so many customers who were satisfied with the product. India is a really rough environment for freezing equipment to work in. I thought, if they can survive in an Indian factory, then in Europe, really quality will be no problem.”
Kroeze said he is especially excited to introduce new innovations created by Glory, such as its hybrid freezer and its plug-and-play solutions, into the European market.
“Europe is a tough market to break into,” he acknowledged, “but we’re going to keep delivering quality and we’ll remain confident that will win out in the end.”