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Merpacífico Norte, the new project of Conrado Merino, former owner of Viveros Merimar (‘Meripul’) until its sale to Angulas Aguinaga, made its official presentation at the last edition of Conxemar, where he made an exclusive presentation of his business plan to Alimarket Gran Consumo. As we have already mentioned, one of its challenges for 2024 was its return to the organized retail shelvesThis has become much more complicated than a few years ago, with strong competition in the modern refrigerated fish section, especially in the cooked octopus niche.

However, this Conrado Merino’s reappearance in retailnow under the banner of its new company Merpacífico, es already a fact and will become visible in the coming weeks, after closing an agreement with a large national chain, both for its supermarkets and its hypermarket division.. Thus, the Palencia-based company will supply the six references that make up Carrefour’s refrigerated cooked octopus catalog in Spain (XL leg in a 250 g case, two legs in 270 g, three legs in 250 g, chopped in 250 g, cooked octopus piece 450 g and half octopus in 450 g). These products will be on the shelves under Carrefour’s ‘El Mercado’ banner. Some of these references are being supplied by competitors such as Angulas Aguinaga through Lagumar Seas, the Cadiz-based Petaca Chico or the Madrid-based Confremar (Alimarket’s latest report on modern fishmongers details the operators that are present in the main distribution chains).

The agreement with Carrefour is a first step and “Merpacífico’s management is already negotiating with other distribution chains to reach agreements to consolidate its business expansion strategy,” the company explains. Previously, the company’s new plant, located in Palencia, obtained IFS certification, which it considers “key to reinforcing customer confidence in our products”. Merpacífico has so far invested around 17 M€ in this project, most of it in these newly built facilities, which have a covered area of 10,000 m2 and cold storage for around 3,000 pallets at a controlled temperature of -28º.

Meets forecasts and invoices €20 million

On the other hand, the company has managed to meet the forecasts it announced a few months ago to Alimarket and has closed its first fiscal year with sales of 20 M€. It should be noted that what will be one of its major business areas, cooked octopus, started operating late, in September. Therefore, the bulk of its turnover in 2023 was from the distribution of raw octopus. For the year now beginning, reaching end consumers, it expects to move around 40 M€.Although management states that the company is sized for high production levels, equivalent to the same level of production, it is not yet ready for the new in the medium term (about five years) to sales of between €80-100 million per year.. Management believes that its growth is based on three pillars: “product quality, high processing capacity and quick response to customers”. Finally, the company has opened a retail store in its own factory in Palencia, which, after the response during the holidays, will remain open all year round.


Javier Rodríguez

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