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Top Story: Trident heads supplier list

Sales for Top 10 reach $7.75 billion in 2004

Lisa Duchene
May 01, 2005

In 2004, many family-run,private companies that are the mainstays of the seafood trade saw growth spurts. They now dominate the annual SeaFood Business list of Top 25 North American seafood suppliers.

Trident Seafoods of Seattle, with about $800 million in annual sales, climbed to the highest ranking on this year’s list. Trident posted a 23 percent gain in revenues, thanks in large part to its acquisition of Norquest Seafoods last year.

Privately held family businesses hold the top three spots. Red Chamber of Vernon, Calif., is No. 2 with $793 million in 2004 sales, a 13 percent increase over 2003. Pacific Seafood Group in Clackamas, Ore., under the grandson of its founder, grew to $700 million in sales, reaching the No. 3 position.

They edged out national brands, just barely; ConAgra Foods, owner of the Louis Kemp surimi seafood brand, tied Pacific for the No. 3 spot.

SeaFood Business annually ranks companies by their total sales from the previous year or their most recent fiscal year.

All but a few Top 25 contenders are privately held companies either in the United States or owned by foreign parent companies. And since private companies are generally not required to report their performance publicly, it is impossible to independently verify their figures.

If we can’t get a sales number from the company, we either use the figure from last year, indicated by an asterisk (*), or estimate it using annual corporate
growth, if that number is available.

We also suspect a few contenders are missing from the list because estimating their figures would be pure guesswork. The Top 25 list is our best-possible estimation of the industry’s largest suppliers, which sold an estimated total of $12.19 billion worth of seafood in 2004.

 1.Trident Seafoods Corp.
Sales: $800 million

Phone: (206) 783-3818

President: Charles H. Bundrant

salmon, halibut, sablefish, flounder, pollock, cod, whiting, herring, rockfish, albacore and yellowfin tuna, swordfish, mahimahi, king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab, pink shrimp, surimi seafood, smoked salmon, battered and breaded whitefish, canned Alaska salmon, pollock roe, Alaska coldwater shrimp, spot prawns

In 2004, Trident acquired Norquest Seafoods, adding about $100 million to the company’s annual sales. Norquest, which operates as a subsidiary, is the largest producer of once-frozen Alaska salmon fillets. In the deal, Trident also added Norquest’s Portlock brand of wild, smoked salmon to its portfolio of brands and is introducing that product to its foodservice offerings. Trident also last year ex- panded its burger line beyond salmon to include wahoo and ahi burgers for the foodservice segment. In 2004, Trident introduced for the retail trade frozen salmon burgers and the PubHouse line of battered and breaded halibut, cod and pollock in 12-ounce boxes. Trident operates more than 34 vessels and 17 processing plants throughout Alaska, Washington and Oregon. It markets products under the brands Trident, SeaLegs, PubHouse, Arctic Ice, Sea Alaska, Rubinstein’s, Whitney’s, Faust, Prelate, Tulip, Lily and Pacific Select. Norquest’s brands include Silver Lining (frozen salmon fillets and smoked salmon), Portlock and Norquest. This year, Trident plans to introduce a new Langostino lobster meat product. Also this year, under the Portlock brand, it will introduce smoked sockeye salmon and recipe-ready smoked salmon.

 2.Red Chamber Co.
Sales: $793 million

Vernon, Calif.
Phone: (323) 234-9000

Shan Chun Kou

shrimp, spiny-lobster tails, king crab, scallops, squid, oysters, octopus, crawfish, langostino, surimi seafood, pollock, cod, hoki, salmon, halibut, smooth oreo Dory, albacore and yellowfin tuna loins, swordfish, mahimahi, orange roughy, sea bass, tilapia, cuttlefish, jellyfish

The private, family-owned Red Chamber Co. operates several seafood companies on the East, West and Gulf coasts, including Blue Pataya Seafood, Kitchens of the Oceans, OFI Markesa International, Mid-Pacific Seafoods, Neptune Foods, Red Chamber Co. and Tampa Bay Fisheries. Red Chamber's portfolio of brands includes Bay shore, Captain Neptune, Fisherman's Choice, Fresh from the Sea, Markesa, Mermaid Princess, Ocean Supreme, Pacific Gourmet, Red Lotus, RCC and Tampa Bay.

3.Pacific Seafood Group
Sales: $700 million

Clackamas, Ore.
Phone: (503) 905-4500

President and CEO:
Frank Dulcich

Products: Atlantic salmon, Pacific salmon, trout, pollock, cod, lingcod, Pacific whiting, halibut, sablefish, flounder, rockfish, tilapia, catfish, groundfish, albacore and yellowfin tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi, shark, sea bass, coldwater and warmwater shrimp, scallops, king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab, American lobster, spiny lobster, clams, mussels, oysters, squid, smoked salmon, surimi seafood, breaded and battered cod and halibut

Pacific Seafood processes West Coast products harvested from Alaska to Mexico. It operates distribution facilities in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah. Pacific has grown from a small retail business, founded in 1941 by Frank M. Dulcich and his son, Dominic Dulcich, in Portland, Ore., into a West Coast processing and distribution network. Frank Dulcich credits the company’s vertical-integration strategy for Pacific Seafood’s growth, which has helped it to secure financing as an “unsecured” borrower. Pacific is in position to grow organically or via acquisition, says Dulcich.

3.ConAgra Foods
Sales: $700 million

Omaha, Neb.
Phone: (402) 595-4000

President of Seafood business unit, ConAgra Foodservice: Jesse Gonzalez
VP Marketing, of Louis Kemp Seafood Co. brand, ConAgra Foods retail products: Tom Perlstein

salmon portions, flounder portions, shrimp (breaded, cooked, peeled and deveined; tigers, Mexican and Asian varieties), breaded scallops, crab, lobster tails, breaded clams, surimi seafood, smoked salmon

ConAgra Foods, one of North America’s largest packaged-food companies, owns the Louis Kemp surimi-seafood brand, which the company acquired from International Home Foods in 2000. ConAgra also owns the Singleton and Meridian seafood brands. The Singleton line includes breaded shrimp, cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined shrimp and breaded crab products. The Meridian line includes West Coast Mexican shrimp and Alaska and Russian king and snow crab. Meridian is also a major importer of Brazilian lobster tails, cooked and raw headless shrimp form Asia and domestic peeled and raw shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. ConAgra in recent years solf off businesses it considered low-margin and volatile. In May 2003, the company sold its Bumble Bee operation to the same management team that joined ConAgra when it acquired Bumble Bee from International Home Foods. In 2004, sales of the company’s retail products totaled $8.4 billion, a 3 percent drop from 2003, and its foodservice sales totaled $3.7 billion, a 3 percent gain over 2003. In recent quarterly statements for the current fiscal year, ConAgra reports declining operating profits for its seafood products due to “tariff-related market dynamics.”

Fishery Products International/dba Ocean Cuisine International
Sales: $680 million

St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Phone: (709) 570-0000 (Canada);
(978) 777-2660 (U.S.)
www.fpil.com (Canada — FPI)
www.oceancuisine.com (U.S. — Ocean Cuisine International)

Derrick Rowe

Products: commodity and value-added fresh and frozen cod, salmon, haddock, snapper, catfish, flounder, tilapia, ocean perch, redfish, pollock, turbot, sole, sea bass, lobster and scallops; coldwater and warmwater shrimp; snow, rock and king crab

Fishery Products International is a publicly held seafood harvesting, processing, sourcing and marketing company. In 2004, FPI established Ocean CuisineTM International, a new branded identity that operates as its North American division. OCI is responsible for sales and marketing of all commodity and value-added FPI products sold in North America. OCI credits its efforts and commitment to product innovation and customer development for its sales gains over the last few years. This year, Ocean CuisineTM plans to expand its presence in the retail sec- tor by leveraging its Sea Cuisine and MargaritavilleTM brands. In addition, OCI maintains an exclusive branded relationship with Corona BeerTM.

Bumble Bee Seafoods
Sales: $680 million

San Diego
Phone: (858) 715-4000
President & CEO: Christopher D. Lischewski

Products: albacore tuna (solid white and chunk light), light-meat tuna (chunk light and solid light “tonno”) packed in water or oil and packaged in cans and pouches, canned pink and red salmon,shrimp, crab, sardines, anchovies, kippered snacks,oysters, mackerel, scallops, ready-to-eat tuna and seafood salads sold with crackers

In spring 2004, Bumble Bee merged with Connors Bros., the world's largest producer of canned sardines, which controls about half the U.S. sardine market and about three-quarters of the Canadian market. Connors Bros., in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, amrkets its products under the Brunswick, Beach Cliff and Port Clyde brands and had 2003 sales of about $155 million. Bumble Bee Holdings LP owns a 31 percent stake in the new company, while Connors Bros. Income Fund owns the remaining 69 percent. In May 2003, Bumble Bee's senior management and Centre Partners Management, a private investment firm in New York and Los Angeles, acquired Bumble Bee from Omaha, Neb., food conglomerate ConAgra Foods and formed Bumble Bee Holdings LP. Centre Partners Management owns a stake in American Seafoods Group in Seattle. Bumble Bee sells canned tuna, salmon and specialty seafood products under the Bumble Bee brand, specialty seafoods under the Orleans brand, salmon under the Libby’s brand, seafood products in Canada under the Clover Leaf brand and sardines, anchovies and kippered snacks under the King Oscar brand. Last September, Bumble Bee introduced a line of pouched heat-and- serve albacore-tuna fillets, Prime FilletTM Albacore Steak. The company recently introduced canned Atlantic salmon, also under the Bumble Bee Prime Fillet™brand

Starkist Seafood Co.
Sales: $674.1 million

Phone: (412) 222-2200

Managing director: Peter Smith
VP customer marketing: Neil Leuthold

Products: canned and pouched albacore and skipjack tuna, chunk light tuna, tuna lunch kits, gourmet tuna fillets, flavored Tuna Creations, canned yellowfin tuna fillets, ready-to-eat tuna salad, low- sodium light-meat and solid white albacore tuna

StarKist became part of Del Monte Foods following a December 2002 merger between Del Monte and parts of Heinz. The company reports that new products like pouched tuna and Tuna Creations, pouched marinated tuna, are doing well. StarKist represents 42 percent of the $1.5 billion canned-tuna market and estimates it is “America’s favorite tuna” based on A.C. Nielsen data. In spring 2003 StarKist launched Tuna Creations, which comes in three flavors: lemon pepper, sweet and spicy and hickory spice. In January 2005, StarKist put advertising icon Charlie the Tuna back to work for the first time in several years in a TV commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

6.Chicken of the Sea International
Sales: $655 million

San Diego
Phone: (858) 558-9662

President: John Signorino

Products: canned albacore, yellowfin and skipjack tuna, salmon, shrimp,swimming crab, clams, oysters, mackerel, sardines, pasteurized crab and pouched tuna, pink salmon, smoked salmon, crab, imitation crab, oysters, shrimp and clams

Chicken of the Sea is working hard to reenergize its brand and Mermaid icon with a suite of new product introductions and a $20-million advertising and public-relations campaign. This year, the company launched TV commercials featuring a handsome hunk that knows “What Women Want.” Following the 2003 launch of chunkier chunk light tuna, Chicken of the Sea became the first national brand to introduce a full line of pouched products, including crab, imitation crab, oysters, shrimp and clams. Early this year, the company introduced a pouched, wood-smoked, Pacific salmon product. Chicken of the Sea International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Thai Union Frozen Products of Bangkok, Thailand’s largest canned- and frozen-seafood exporter to the U.S., European and Japanese markets. Empress, a Port Washington, N.Y., shrimp company acquired by Thai Union in July 2003, is introducing Chicken of the Sea branded frozen shrimp in limited markets.

7.Nippon Suisan USA (Nissui)
Sales: $589 million

Redmond, Wash.
Phone: (425) 869-1703

Chairman: Kunihiko Koike

Products: fish sticks and tenders; grilled, breaded and battered whitefish fillets; breaded and battered shrimp; pollock blocks, fillets and roe; Pacific cod, halibut, sablefish, king crab, snow crab, surimi seafood, whitefish meal, fish oil

Nippon Suisan USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Japan’s second-largest marine products firm, with operations in the United States, Argentina, Chile, the Netherlands, China, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam. The Tokyo company owns UniSea of Redmond, Wash., Fishking Processors of Los Angeles, Gorton’s Seafood of Gloucester, Mass., and BlueWater Seafoods of Montreal.

8.Tri-Marine International
Sales: $525 million

San Pedro, Calif.
Phone: (310) 548-6245

President: Renato Curto

Products: albacore, yellowfin, skipjack, bluefin and bigeye tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovy, squid

Tri-Marine International in 2004 made strides toward its goal of being the preferred tuna-supply company to the world’s major brands. Tri-Marine exited the swordfish business in 2003, allowing it to redirect resources into its tuna business. The company supplies tuna to StarKist, Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee. Tri-Marine has fishing, processing and trading operations in North and Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and throughout the Pacific. It owns and operates a fleet of 11 tuna purse seiners that fish in the eastern and western Pacific. Tri Marine’s freezing facility in Los Angeles has a capacity of about 200 tons per day of squid, sardines and mackerel. The company added revenue in 2004 by acquiring Austral, one of the largest fishing and fishmeal companies in Peru.

9.Ocean Beauty Seafoods
Sales: $500 million

Phone: (206) 285-6800

VP of sales: Mark Palmer

Products: wild and farmed salmon, pollock, cod, lingcod, whiting, halibut, sablefish, flounder, sole, rockfish, sturgeon, albacore and yellowfin tuna, swordfish, mahimahi, sea bass, shark, king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab, coldwater shrimp, Alaska spot and striped prawns, clams, mussels, oysters, pickled herring, herring roe, cod roe, milt cod, surimi seafood
Ocean Beauty Seafoods operates salmon- and groundfish-processing plants in Alaska; a canned-salmon warehouse and labeling plant in Kent, Wash.; salmon smokehouses in Monroe, Wash., Los Angeles and Boston; and distribution facilities in nine western cities. In April 2003, the company acquired salmon canneries in Excursion Inlet and Alitak, Alaska, formerly operated by Wards Cove Packing Co.

10.American Seafoods Group
Sales: $461.7 million

(206) 374-1515

Chairman and CEO
: Bernt O. Bodal

Products: surimi made with Alaska pollock and Pacific whiting; fillet blocks made from Alaska pollock, Pacific cod and whiting; shatterpack fillets made with Alaska pollock and Pacific cod; Alaska pollock and Pacific cod roe; whole and H&G yellowfin sole, rock sole, flathead sole and Atka mackerel; fresh and frozen sea scallops; value-added products; U.S. farm-raised catfish, all forms, fresh and frozen

American Seafoods Group LLC comprises American Seafoods Co. in Seattle, the nation’s largest harvester and at-sea processor of pollock and hake; American Pride Seafoods, a value-added processor in New Bedford, Mass.; and the largest catfish processor in the United States, Southern Pride Catfish, in Greensboro, Ala. American Seafoods Co. markets primarily Alaska whitefish products under the Pride of the Sea brand name. It supplies American Pride Seafoods, a secondary processor that creates value-added products for the foodservice, club store and national retail chain markets under the Frionor and American Pride labels. In 2004, American Pride withdrew plans for an initial public offering and launched a line of frozen retail kids’ products co-branded with Disney characters. The line rolled out at Wal-Mart stores nationwide in early 2005. It includes cheddar-crumb-coated fish nuggets, crunchy fish nuggets, breaded fish strips and pizza-flavored fish wedges.

May 2005 - SeaFood Business 



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