Kiwi King rules in Swiss salmon market

Posted by Josette Dunn on 15th December 2010

A bold move to change manufacturing procedures to meet the needs of discerning Swiss consumers has helped NZ King Salmon break in to its 13th export market.The Marlborough-based salmon farmer has worked for two years to meet very specific product requirements from Migros, Switzerland’s biggest supermarket chain.

Intensive work by the company’s product development team in Nelson has included investment in custom-designed equipment to meet specific dimensions for smoked salmon products.

NZ King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne says the hard work has paid off with the resulting manuka smoked product exceeding the customer’s requirements.

“Frankly, we raised the benchmark. They asked for smoked salmon with a shelf life of 12 days from delivery – their independent testing showed our products easily surpassed that.

“We are proud to say our product has been created naturally and delivers a fantastic result – a real credit to the product development team.”

Rosewarne says Migros loves smoked King salmon and sees it as their flagship calling it ‘saumon royal’.

“Swiss consumers look for an intense smoke flavour. The oil in manuka smoked King salmon carries this well – compared to the more common Atlantic salmon – and leaves a wonderful texture and clean flavour.”

Switzerland may be about as far as you can get from the ocean and much closer to traditional European suppliers but Swiss fish lovers can expect to see a lot more of New Zealand’s King salmon.

While Rosewarne will not reveal exact details because of commercial sensitivities, he says the initial 12 month contract will extend essentially as long as the product performs.

“We have really lifted the quality of smoked salmon on offer to Swiss consumers right throughout the country. This has been a two-year journey to get it right but the investment is going to pay off for many years to come,” Rosewarne says.

“If you can sell salmon to the Swiss you can sell it to anyone because they have the highest food produce expectations. It’s a real feather in the cap for New Zealand’s food production standards.”

Migros is a co-op owned by more than two million Swiss people and employs more than 80,000 staff in 604 outlets. It has a turnover through its own outlets of SFr 22 billion (NZ$29.9 billion).