Potato crisp manufacturer on track with exports after signing deal to supply Aldi stores in Australia

4 July 2017


A MAJOR new contract to supply discount supermarket chain, Aldi, in Australia has kept potato crisp manufacturer, Seabrook, on target to achieve four per cent of its annual £30m turnover in export sales by the end of this financial year.

Chamber International - Seabrook Crisps Goes from Strength to Strength

The contract to supply Aldi, which has built up to 470 stores in Australia after opening its first in 2001, follows similar export deals made by Seabrook with Lulu Hypermarket in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Monoprix in France; 7-Eleven in China and Hong Kong and French retailer, Carrefour in Spain, after gaining strategic export development advice from overseas trade specialist, Chamber International.

Bradford-based Seabrook started planning to export in 2015 after LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, acquired the company for £35m.

Marketing and international sales director, Kevin Butterworth, says: “Successful exporting requires long-term commitment. Securing the latest retail deal with Aldi in Australia keeps us on target to achieve four per cent revenue in exports by April 2018, two years from our first export sale in April 2016, and our medium-term aim to achieve ten per cent export revenue within five years.

“We wanted to export for some time and the private equity deal injected £4m into upgrading our factory, giving us what we needed in terms of increased capacity, flexibility to provide shorter product runs for international markets and to reinforce packaging to extend shelf life from four to 11 months as the export market requires.   

“We engaged with Chamber International from the start and they immediately added value with strategic consultancy by looking at where we wanted to get to and how best to achieve this. They also provided crucial overseas contacts, particularly an export development programme in the UAE which enabled us to meet 11 potential buyers in three days and which I could not have achieved under my own steam.”

Among other Seabrook innovations for exports have been new products, including paprika, and Chilli and sour cream flavours for the Chinese and Asian markets; multi-lingual packs and printing best before and expiry dates to meet legislative requirements for food exporting.

Exports have also used Seabrook’s crinkle cut crisps that the company was first to develop. The company has also used international trademarking, attended trade fairs, such as Gulf Food in Dubai, made market visits and had additional support from The Department for International Trade and the Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA).

Chamber International senior export adviser, David Attia, who is advising the company, says: “Seabrook has become a model SME exporter by approaching breaking into overseas markets in a systematic and thorough way. Potato crisps are enjoyed all over the world and I’m sure Seabrook can make global exports a significant part of its business.”

Seabrook was founded in 1945 as a fish and chip shop and acquired its famous brand name when a sign writer misunderstood an instruction to create a sign for C. Brook. Seabrook eventually became a potato crisp manufacturer and became the first to produce crinkle cut crisps in the 1950s and the first to introduce a Worcester Sauce flavour in 1975.  Today the company has 151 staff at its site in Bradford. Operating profit for the business in 2016 was £3.6m with a turnover of £27m. 


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