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Sea Smoked salmon packs are completely recyclable and home compostable. Photo: Sea Smoked.
Sea Smoked salmon packs are completely recyclable and home compostable. Photo: Sea Smoked.

A new smoked salmon brand which its makers say is the first in the UK to come in completely plastic-free packaging is being launched this month.

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Sea Smoked uses fish from Wester Ross Salmon and is being supplied by Sea Group, the company that produces Sea Chips, crisps made from salmon skin.

Retailing at £4.85, the smoked salmon will soon go on sale online and at upmarket grocer Booths, which has 28 stores in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester.

All parts of the packaging - the outer sleeve, bag and board - are recyclable and are also home compostable and biodegradable. The bag, normally made of plastic, is composed of natural products such as eucalyptus fibre and cassava starch.

Dragons’ Den

Sea Smoked is a new venture from Daniel Pawson and Dominic Smith, who garnered wide attention for their Sea Chips product when they pitched it to potential investors on BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme last year.

Viewers saw them turn down an offer a £30,000 from multi-millionaire fashion retailer and investor Touker Suleyman because they felt he wanted too much of a stake in the company in return.

During the period between the programme being filmed and being broadcast, the entrepreneurs teamed up with Grants Smokehouse owner Jonathan Brown, who supplied both investment and waste salmon skins from his smokery in Maryport, West Cumbria. Sea Smoked salmon is being produced at the Maryport facility.

From left: Dominic Smith, Jonathan Brown and Daniel Pawson with packets of Sea Chips. Smith and Pawson are now launching their own branded smoked salmon produced at Brown's Maryport smokery. Photo: Sea Chips.
From left: Dominic Smith, Jonathan Brown and Daniel Pawson with packets of Sea Chips. Smith and Pawson are now launching their own branded smoked salmon produced at Brown's Maryport smokery. Photo: Sea Chips.

Focus on sustainability

“Sea Smoked is a new venture of ours,” Pawson told Fish Farming Expert. “Our aim is to grow the Sea Group into a range of salmon products focusing on sustainability and innovation. We collaborated with our newest business partner and investor, Jonathan Brown, on the development of the smoked salmon and Grants produce it to our specification in their factory in Cumbria whilst we at the Sea Group developed the packaging elements.

“We use the same salmon supplier, Wester Ross. With Jon’s extensive knowledge we of course take his advice on this.”

Sea Chips are still being produced, but plans to expand the product’s retail presence at home and abroad have been affected by the changes to working lives forced on society by Covid-19.

Sea Chips are made from waste salmon skin. Photo: www.joe.horner.co.uk.
Sea Chips are made from waste salmon skin. Photo: www.joe.horner.co.uk.

‘On-the-go’ snack

“As with the majority of all the snack brands, Sea Chips has seen sales slow due to being an ‘on-the-go’ snack,” said Pawson.

“The closure of offices has affected that as well, as the offices we supplied such as Google who are now all working from home. Luckily, we were already planning to diversify.

“We have a launch in a supermarket chain in the United Arab Emirates coming up, but all UK launches have been delayed, which is a category standard.”

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