With ever growing chicken consumption, Seara is striving to serve British consumers with sustainable and high-quality products. Many households are facing an uncertain economic future, so the company believes there will always be a strong market for chicken as it is affordable, healthy and convenient.
The company estimates chicken sales were worth more than £1bn last year. Alexandre Mattos – Executive head of operations at Seara UK, tells Wholesale Manager how the company works with wholesalers to improve sales and passes on his advice for merchandising meat and poultry in depot.
What does your role involve? What is a typical day for you?
Our team is very focused and customer oriented and we are very passionate here in Seara about the food industry, so we channel this passion in finding solutions for our clients. My typical day involves lots of customers and internal meetings, but it is all about bringing the best out of the team and working together with the clients.
Are there any particular aspects of the Seara business that you are most passionate about and most keen to focus on?
Seara is a global branded business, very creative, dynamic and innovative, constantly focusing in high added value products. We have already experienced massive growth in the UK market, but, given our quality, sustainability and competitiveness, I truly believe that there is room for much more progress once the UK fully opens up and capitalizes the value of Global partnerships post-BREXIT.
I am also very passionate about the unbeatable quality of our products and our world-benchmark practices of animal welfare, product integrity, social responsibility and environmental management.
What is Seara doing in the area of sustainability to reduce its environmental impact?
Sustainability is now our strategy. Simply put, it cannot be anymore only a small part of the strategy or a nice to have paragraph in the annual report. In this respect, JBS (our parent company) is the world leader in the meat industry, promoting the transition to the low-carbon economy across our entire value chain, always with sciencebased targets. We have so many highlights worth mentioning: The Fund for the Amazon, which is a non-profit civil association dedicated to promoting and financing initiatives and projects whose aim is the sustainable development of the Amazon Biome, the Net Zero Commitment that pledges JBS’ global public commitment to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions, reducing its direct and indirect emissions and offsetting all residual emissions, the Germinare School for disadvantaged children, investments in circular economy like Biodiesel and many other relevant initiatives on Social inclusion and diversity.
What is the value of the UK meat and poultry market? Is the market in growth?
We estimate the value of the chicken sales in the UK, fresh and frozen, to be more than £1bn last year. While there has been a decline in retail sales in the past 12 weeks, the overall volume is still higher than pre-pandemic in 2019 and the recent growth in foodservice and wholesale sales is offsetting it.
What trends are driving the market?
We clearly see that Chicken is increasing in consumption because it still is the most affordable, healthy, nutritious, convenient and versatile protein, so it will always be present in the nation’s fridges and freezers, specially with inflation hitting hard so many households.
Plant based products clearly are the major trend at the moment and Seara is preparing the launch of its own range to be present in this segment.
What advice do you have for wholesalers on merchandising meat and poultry in depot?
Work your planograms, identify and always stock the core products, like our battered breast chunks, but don’t forget that shoppers also want variety, like our hot and spicy goujons. It is also important to maintain clean, neat and tidy freezers and shopping areas.
How do you work with wholesalers to improve sales?
Our customers always demand and we ensure the best value for money, best quality, food safety and most importantly reliable supply. But, since 2020 we’ve stepped up our in-store promotional activities and marketing campaigns with our key partners.