Fresh fish specialist moves into ready meals

Elmore Fish in Dunmurry has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop an innovative range of easy to cook fish dishes.

The family owned and managed company, which has been supplying fresh and frozen fish since 1894, has launched its Restaurant branded range of ready fish dishes that can be oven cooked in just 15 minutes, enabling families to enjoy the health benefits of seafood.

The company used an Invest NI Innovation Voucher in the initial development of the new meals. Invest NI provided further support to the company in the development of the new range and associated branding and in marketing the range to key retailers particularly in the Republic of Ireland.

The range of four convenience fish dishes, developed by the company’s in-house chef, is now attracting the interest of major retailers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The new meals were announced by Brian Elmore, Managing Director of Elmore Fish, now in its fourth generation, and welcomed by Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Food Director.

Mr Elmore said: “Due to the current climate and market trends, we have diversified and looked for gaps in the market, which has enabled us to grow steadily during difficult times.

“Our new Restaurant range offers convenient and healthy meals made using locally sourced produce. The range offers meals from ‘fridge to oven ready’ in just 15 minutes, suiting increasingly fast lifestyles.

“Market research shows that people enjoy eating seafood and recognise the health benefits associated with fish. However, they are not always confident when preparing and cooking it.

“Invest NI’s assistance for our investment in innovation in the shape of the meals and the new branding and packaging has been immensely important. We’ve also benefited from practical advice and support in developing our marketing particularly in the Republic, a key target market for the new range.

“The enthusiasm of retail buyers for such an innovative development shows we are on the right track and as our initial four dishes have proven so successful we are currently expanding the range,” he added.

Mr Mawhinney said: “Elmore Fish is an excellent example of a smaller and family run business which is investing in market-focused innovation to add significant value to its longstanding expertise.

“The new products are the outcome of this strategic approach and are based on extensive market research which enabled the company to pinpoint a significant market opportunity.

“Our support has helped the company through the initial market research, the investment in innovation, the development of attractive branding and the initial marketing process,” he added.