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Consumer needs lead salmon export success

Consumer needs lead export success for salmon producer

A focus on products that meet changing international needs has seen New Zealand King Salmon Ltd nominated as one of 21 finalists in the 2005 New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Export Awards.

The producer and marketer of Regal Marlborough Salmon has grown exports to about $45 million in 2004. It has also increased profitability despite a strong New Zealand dollar.

The company is the biggest producer of king salmon in the southern hemisphere and one of four finalists in the food and beverage sector of the awards.

New Zealand King Salmon general manager of sales and marketing Don Everitt says changing consumer lifestyles and current consumer drivers have been key elements in its offshore drive.

“Nowadays people are more often looking for health, convenience and wellbeing benefits from their food, with wellbeing meaning the product is sustainable and produced in an environmentally friendly way,” Mr Everitt says.

One of the considerable health benefits of New Zealand king salmon is its high Omega 3 content.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are vital for life and good health and can help to maintain a healthy heart while also assisting several essential chemical processes in the human body.

Mr Everitt says the company has attempted to reduce the impact of a high Kiwi dollar by diversifying into new markets in addition to Japan and the USA.

“We have looked for innovative ways to grow business within those markets by developing new products, new channels and new ways of doing business.”

He says NZ King Salmon has been able to increase its export process because of the strength of the brand and its premium positioning.

NZ King Salmon is unique in that it owns to entire production supply chain. Mr Everitt says the clean, natural farming environment of Marlborough means the company doesn’t need to use antibiotics, chemicals or vaccines to maintain fish health. Its husbandry, flexible processing and integrated delivery services means that customers as far apart as New York and Tokyo can rely on the company’s consistency, quality and freshness.

New products recently developed by NZ King Salmon include salmon caviar, salmon dip and salmon strips, a dried salmon snack. Its staple range includes fresh, chilled and frozen whole salmon, hot and cold smoked salmon, gravalax, kebabs, fillets and medallions.

NZ King Salmon is one of Nelson’s biggest employers with 380 staff.

The 2005 New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Export Awards are being presented in Christchurch in August.


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