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Kermad's Bleu Marine seafood dishes target markets at home and abroad.

Kermad's Bleu Marine Seafood Dishes Target Markets at Home and Abroad

Kermad, a part of the group Compagnie Generale Frigorifique, encapsulates the vigor of the French frozen seafood industry. A producer of seafood dishes, the 21-year-old firm is unable to buy seafood caught by French fishermen. "There are two seafood markets in France," Patrick Stempfel, general director, explained, "fresh and frozen."

Prices of fresh French seafood are very high, and quantities are severely limited. The scallops that Kermad uses presently come from Norway; while the fish is sourced from Alaska. All raw materials are frozen at sea.

Kermad's specialty is scallop dishes, and it has recently introduced a line that is 70% scallop meat, Stempfel reported. A favorite of the French, scallops are featured in the styles of Normandy, Dieppe, Provence and Brittany, as well as cooked in cream and champagne.

For 15 years the firm has sold fish soup. Sales have gradually increased, although soup - with its small added value and numerous producers - accounts for only 1.5% of Kermad's annual 87 million franc turnover. Now, with a new twist, the firm is going after this developing segment in earnest. It is bringing out a line of 11 soups, packed in boil-in-bags, for use with fish. A box contains four 100-gram sachets. Flavors include sorrel (veloute de fish, sorrel, and cream), hollandaise (eggs, water, butter, and lemon), and nantua (American and bechamel).

Kermad is also introducing a new label, Bleu Marine, for products that will be sold in hypermarkets and supermarkets. The recipes are the same as those that Kermad already sells in freezer centers and through home delivery services.

In addition, the company is starting to export to other European countries. So far, customers are being served in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Stempfel described the business as "a tiny but growing percentage of volume."

Management feels that in order to build on external sales, items must be separately developed for each country to which it wishes to export. There are two chief targets abroad; markets for French-style products and markets for products in the style of the importer, Stempfel explained. The former is obviously more limited than the latter.

To put itself into a position to meet the demand for high-quality seafood products, Kermad took advantage of an event that could have meant disaster. Its factory was expropriated to clear the way for construction of a highway. The company replaced the plant with an ultra-modern facility of its own design at Brest, which began operation in April 1990. The factory itself occupies approximately 4,500 square meters; a cold storage chamber takes up another 5,400 square meters.

PHOTO : The Bleu Marine range centers on scallop dishes while also offering crabs and other delicacies of the sea.
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Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Words:463
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