Young’s Cod & Chips, Other Seafare Cross Atlantic to USA

Grimsby, England-based Young’s Seafood will soon be selling frozen fish products in the United States in retail packaging especially designed for the American market. Among products in the range are crispy battered cod and chips, wild-caught cod and haddock fillets in beer batter, and wild-caught chunky cod fillets in light tempura batter.

Distribution to more than 14,000 Walmart, Sam’s Club and Ahold Delhaize stores is being handled by the Munhall, Pennsylvania-headquartered Fishin’ Company, which has partnered with Young’s to introduce a number of products from the British producer to the USA retail market.

Chip Shop Battered Fillets“Young’s Seafood is #1 in the UK, and as a category brand leader we want to grow our distribution network abroad,” said Frank Green, the company’s sales director. “We did extensive research and the US seemed an obvious place to start, as it has a strong frozen food category. We know that British provenance is a key selling point in the US, so we are confident that the brand will be well received by consumers based on initial retailer feedback.”

Manish Kumar, chief executive officer of the Fishin’ Company, commented: “We are thrilled to provide Young’s products through our distribution network and offer US consumers their famously delicious value-added seafood items with our high quality frozen fish.”

Fishin LogoEmploying approximately 1,700 people at seven facilities in England and Scotland, Young’s is active in supplying both the retail and foodservice sectors. Its Gastro and Chip Shop brands are ubiquitous in supermarket and grocery store freezer sections throughout the UK. Products range from fish fingers, cakes and pies to breaded and battered fillets, scampi and ready meals.

Ranked as Britain’s leading seafood specialty brand, Young’s traces its roots back to 1805, when it was founded by Elizabeth Young and her family who were watermen and fishermen on the Thames at Greenwich. It takes credit for a number of notable seafood firsts, including the marketing of potted shrimp in distinctive blue pottery jars and introducing frozen prawns to UK consumers in the 1940s.

The company was acquired by Lion Capital, Bain Capital Credit and HPS Investment Partners in 2008 in a £1.1 million transaction. The deal included the Findus brand business, which was sold Nomad Foods in 2015 for £500 million.

Recently there has been speculation that efforts by the private equity stakeholders to sell Young’s are ongoing. Last month the Press Association in the United Kingdom reported that that private equity owners were working with investment house Stamford Partners on a “potential exit.”