19 January 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Lidl Ireland has announced a new multi-million-euro deal with Cork-based seafood company Keohane seafoods, valued at more than €20 million. This new deal will bring their fresh and frozen Irish seafood products to Lidl stores across the island of Ireland, in addition to an increase of exports to selected Lidl stores in Great Britain, USA, Germany, Cyprus, Italy and Greece making them Lidl Ireland’s largest fish supplier.
Salmon, Mackerel, Trout, and Coley are just a few of the products in Keohane seafoods growing range available in Lidl’s stores in Ireland and Northern Ireland. As part of the new contract the company have been awarded supply of three new fresh salmon items to two Lidl Great Britain regional distribution centres in Avonmouth outside of Bristol and Bridge End in Durham worth over €4 million.
Keohane seafoods was founded by Michael (Mike) Keohane and his two sons Colman and Brian in 2010. Natives to the coastline of West Cork, their deep knowledge and passion for the fishing industry and seafood abetted the family to identify a gap in the market for fresh and frozen quality Irish seafood products. A family run business to this day, they started out as a small team.
In 2011 they secured their first contract with Lidl Ireland supplying just two salmon darnes, alongside a cod and mackerel product. Since then the ten-year partnership has surfed a wave of success. The seafood business has seen continued growth, and now employs a workforce of more than 220 employees – becoming one of Ireland’s largest quality seafood processors. Keohane’s drive a tight ship and strive to revolutionise the seafood industry, supplying both fresh and frozen products to the domestic and international markets, as well as local restaurants and hotels.
The business invests hugely in innovation and research including consumer insights, new product development such as recipe generation and have a keen focus on adapting a strong sustainable focus to ensure that their product offering satisfies customer’s needs.
They run two high BRCAA & IFSgrade facilities: a 65,000 sq. ft. facility in their hometown Bantry and a 20,000 sq. ft. facility in Cork City. Keohane’s have been involved in Lidl’s Supplier Engagement Programme and were awarded Lidl Packaging Reduction Supplier of the Year in 2021 for their efforts in reducing nearly 18 tonnes of plastic from products.
Commenting Colman Keohane, Managing Director, Keohane seafoods stated that the partnership with Lidl over the past ten years has brought a wave of success to the company. Increased investment by Lidl has enabled important employment opportunities to the local communities of Cork.
“Lidl has been a long-standing partner of ours and through the considerable investment from their team it has given us a huge opportunity to place our products on the plates of Lidl customers across the domestic and international market. We strive to provide a trusted quality product and sustainability is a core value that is very important to us. All our seafood is sourced from responsibly managed fisheries and farms. And with the support from the team at Lidl we can maximise the ongoing investment by adjusting the way we operate so we can continue to innovate, create new products and reduce environmental impact of the range” said Mr Keohane.
Following the success of Keohane seafoods with Lidl’s customers, the retailer confirmed the new deal worth more than €20 million. The new deal with Lidl has had a significantly positive impact on their operations, with the seafood processor delivering quality premium products at affordable prices.
Commenting on the new deal with Lidl Ireland and Lidl International, Brendan Conway, Head of Buying at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland said:
“Bringing quality premium products at affordable prices to our stores is at the forefront of what we do. This latest partnership with Keohane’s amplifies the quality and success of their products with our customers here and abroad. Through Lidl’s ongoing investment over the years Keohane’s have considerably upscaled their business providing significant employment opportunities to the local community. Their commitment to product development, business innovation and sustainable initiatives never cease and exemplifies our business ethos at Lidl. We are delighted to be part of their journey to creating a premium product that we are thrilled to place in Lidl stores not just in Ireland but in stores across the UK, USA and Europe.”