A Scottish seaweed company cofounded by Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson has penned a European distribution deal with ingredients distributor Univar Solutions.
Univar Solutions was selected by Seaweed & Co. to distribute its PureSea range of natural seaweed ingredients to the food and beverage markets in countries including Denmark, France and Germany. PureSea® ingredients are easy and convenient to use in almost any food, beverage and nutrition product, and are a natural source of iodine.
Established in 2015, Seaweed & Co. is a leading supplier of seaweed sustainably sourced in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. Its products are processed in a factory on the Isle of Lewis which employs 15 people and is expanding to accommodate increased demand for seaweed production.
The new distributor agreement with Univar Solutions will see Seaweed & Co.’s PureSea® ingredients shipped to food and nutrition manufacturers and brands across Europe, providing consumers with the many health and nutritional benefits of seaweed.
HM Trade Commissioner for Europe, Andrew Mitchell CMG, said:
“I am delighted to see businesses like Seaweed & Co. expand their reach throughout Europe by tapping into the growing demand for high quality UK produce.
“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 Weed & Wonderful 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.
Seaweed & Co. currently exports to countries including Israel, South Korea, Australia, Canada and the US, but will now expand further into Europe with support from Univar Solutions and cater to emerging consumer interest in plant-based diets. The business also plans to expand into Asia where food products from Scotland are recognised and valued for their premium quality.
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 4 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.”