Thanks in part to increased consumer demand for frozen value-added seafood meals during the COVID-19 pandemic, sales at Grimsby, United Kingdom-based Young’s Seafood soared in the past year.
Innovative product launches, a successful “Masters of Fish” marketing campaign, and new ownership that helped the supplier improve efficiencies also contributed to the incline in revenue and profit, the company said.
The supplier earned GBP 597 million (USD 809 million, EUR 715 million) in revenue for its fiscal year ending April 2021, while its operating profit soared to GBP 29.8 million (USD 40 million, EUR 37 million).
This was the first full financial year for Young’s under the ownership of Element UK TOPCO Limited (trading as Eight Fifty Food Group), controlled by CapVest Partners LLP, “where a significant focus was placed on improving operational and commercial performance and exploring cost saving opportunities offered by being part of a leading multi-protein food group,” Young’s said in a statement provided to SeafoodSource.
“Since the period covered by the account, we continue to manage the challenges presented by the current wider economic picture, including significant inflationary pressures in areas such as raw materials and energy, continued supply chain disruption and the ongoing impact of COVID,” Young’s said.
The company is “well placed to deal with the strong competitive pressures that characterize the U.K. seafood industry and is preparing for further growth in the years to come under the new ownership of Sofina Foods,” Young’s added.
Contributing to Young’s revenue success was investment in consumer communication through its new Masters of Fish campaign and new product rollouts, the company said.
The new products “further consolidated Young’s position as the number one U.K. seafood brand, well placed to satisfy high retail shopper demand and offsetting reduction in foodservice sales due to covid lockdown restrictions,” Young’s said.
For example, Young’s is launching Lightly Dusted Sicilian Lemon and Black Pepper Sole Fillets along with Salmon Puff Pastry Parcels with Creamy Spinach & Cheddar Sauce in its popular Gastro range in Iceland stores this month.
The Gastro range has grown to reach GBP 76.3 million (USD 103 million, EUR 91 million) over the last year, Young’s said in a press release.
In the last two years, Gastro has grown by 18.3 percent, outperforming the total frozen fish market, which grew by 15.5 percent over the same period, Young’s said.
Last October, Young’s also rolled out chilled Red Thai Infused Salmon in Asda stores.
The two-pack of salmon fillets are flavored with a Thai marinade infused with flavors of garlic, paprika, chilli, coconut milk, lemongrass, coriander, and parsley, Young’s said in a press release.
“Salmon is one of the favorite fish species for our shoppers, so we are excited to have introduced this Red Thai Infused product, giving our customers a new option to suit different types of meals at home,” Asda Buyer Kay Woods said at the time.
Meanwhile, Young’s notable Masters of Fish advertising campaign returned to U.K. screens on 3 January, following successful campaigns in 2020 and 2021.
Masters of Fish showcases the supplier’s 200 years of expertise to inspire people to cook and enjoy fish more often.
Previous campaigns helped to strengthen Young’s position as the number one brand in frozen fish, according to the company. The campaign attracted 500,000 new shoppers to the brand in 10 weeks and delivered GBP 15 million (USD 21 million, EUR 18 million) in incremental sales.
“Over the past two years we’ve seen growing numbers of shoppers adding fish into their diets and we want to keep this positive momentum going,” Young’s Marketing Controller Liz Griffin said. “We look forwarding to kicking off what we expect to be another year of positive growth with the latest version of our award-winning campaign.”
The campaign will focus on the company’s “hero products”: Young’s Chip Shop Cod Fillets, Gastro Tempura Battered Chunky Cod Fish Fingers and Gastro Lightly Dusted Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper Basa Fillets.
The creative features ordinary people who demonstrate how Young’s expertise helps them master different meal occasions, ranging from a midweek family dinner, a date night and a post workout pick me up.
See this ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhyMtOJ9qgM
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