Grimsby-based Havelok is a frozen fish provider to the foodservice industry.
Having launched five years ago, it boasts a turnover of £17m, and is one of the biggest fish distributors in the market.
We spoke to Rachel Appleton, head of purchasing & new product development (NPD) and purchasing, about Havelok’s success so far, and how the fish supplier thinks outside of the box.
Tell us more about Havelok
We provide more than 200 products, and coat 100 tonnes of fish per week.
Our team has a real passion and commitment for what we do. We have 95 staff, and from the top down to the bottom, everyone really cares about the business’ success.
What products are in your range?
Our best-selling item is breaded and battered fish – the perfect type to have with chips. The fish is available as cod, pollock or haddock.
We constantly review the range to ensure we help our clients deliver new and innovative menu ideas to their customers. For example, we have launched new fish cakes: salmon with pea and mint, pollock and harissa, and cod and tartar sauce.
We love playing around with different flavours, and that’s how one of our latest products came about. Our Amritsari goujon is inspired by the flavours around the Amritsar temple in India – thanks to its onion batter, it tastes like an onion bhaji, but is a fish goujon in its own right.
What makes you different from other frozen fish providers?
We always think outside of the box to come up with new and innovative solutions for the foodservice.
We patented our own fish, called Batter Me Up, which was the first fish product to be granted a patent in 20 years.
Batter Me Up was created to help chefs in pubs, after our market research found that they were defrosting fish using inefficient methods.
Pubs were preparing fish to order, avoiding defrosting a bulk amount 24 hours in advance to save on waste, and rushing to defrost fish on the day.
Batter Me Up fillets can be cooked from frozen, and take just 30 to 40 seconds longer to be fried, whilst retaining all moisture and flavour.
We launched the product in 2014, and it’s had positive feedback from chefs who no longer need to defrost fish for battering.
How does Havelok develop new products?
We watch new product development closely and hold ‘food safaris’ to find the latest trends in the industry.
The safaris involve us visiting top-end restaurants and street food vendors, helping us find out what people on the high street like, and how we can further develop products for that market.
How does Erudus help the business?
Our team really likes working with Erudus – it’s user-friendly, easy to recall information on, and lets us update customers with new or additional product data.
We have 200 products on Erudus, and all of our specifications can be found on it.
As a manufacturer, it’s important our data is 100% accurate as our product information goes from us, to foodservices, and onto pubs and restaurants that cook and serve.
With Erudus, we have the peace of mind that all of our data can be accessed quickly, with any data updates done at the touch of a button.