Kaiser Chiefs singer’s seaweed firm seals European deal
Founders Ricky Wilson and Craig Rose (pic: contributed)
A seawood company co-founded by rock star Ricky Wilson will see its products on sale throughout Europe after sealing a deal with a global distributor.
Wilson, lead singer with the Kaiser Chiefs, helped set up Seaweed & Co in 2015. The Outer Hebrides company has now selected Univar Solutions to distribute its PureSea range of natural seaweed ingredients to the food and drinks markets in countries such as Denmark, France and Germany.
It already exports to Israel, South Korea, Australia, Canada and the US and plans to expand to Asia.
Its products are processed in a factory on the Isle of Lewis which employs 15 staff and is expanding to accommodate increased demand for seaweed production.
HM Trade Commissioner for Europe, Andrew Mitchell, said: “There are numerous opportunities for UK companies overseas, which is why the Department for International Trade is committed to boosting UK trade and prosperity across the continent of Europe and not just the European Union – whether that’s by providing advice on market opportunities, connections to buyers or overcoming market access barriers.”
Seaweed & Co. has supplied seaweed for ‘Off the Eaten Path’ – a range of vegetable snacks made by PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business in the world. Its ingredients have also been used in the M&S Smoked Hebridean Seaweed Mayonnaise.
The company also sells directly to customers through its Weed & Wonderful range which helps individuals easily incorporate seaweed into their everyday life and reap its health benefits. The range includes seaweed infused oils and seaweed capsules – all of which are available in health food stores across the UK including Holland and Barret and Whole Foods Market.
The global commercial seaweed market is set to reach £17.5 billion by 2024 thanks to increased demand for organic, natural and sustainably sourced products. Seaweed not only supports thyroid health, metabolism and cognitive function, but also adds flavour to food and is often used as a replacement for salt.
Dr Craig Rose, founder and managing director of Seaweed & Co., said: “Seaweed is undoubtedly the future. It ticks so many boxes for food, health and nutrition, and is absolutely on-trend. We have spent the past four years developing a supply chain and PureSea range of ingredients that can meet the rapidly rising demand on a large and global scale.
“Working with Univar Solutions is opening up a vast opportunity and network for my company, into Europe and beyond. As a partner they bring a huge amount of expertise, credibility and knowledge, which we are all extremely excited about.”