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Peregrine’s dive into the aquatic market

In a discussion with Chris Jones, managing director at Peregrine Livefoods, he explains the firm’s recent plunge into the aquatics market including the provisions it will need to put in place to succeed in the industry and the benefits to transitioning into different markets.

Why has the firm always wanted to enter into the aquatics market?

More than 70% of our customer base already stock aquatic products in one form or another. It’s a natural fit, but to be honest we’ve always stocked some form of aquatic product such as frozen and live aquatic foods, which we’ve had for many years now. With the new acquisition paving the way for us to enter the aquatics sector, the future of the exotic pet industry looks bright.

What is so appealing about the market?

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Well, we are a team of exotic animal lovers, including fish. That’s a great starting point, but beyond that the appeal for economic reasons is the ability to maximise profitability by being able to deliver more goods to the same customer – for instance, our existing reptile customers who also stock aquatic goods. In addition, with many herpetoculturists now also keeping fish in semi-aquatic enclosures called ‘paludariums’ the increased knowledge in-house should benefit a wide reach of businesses across the country.

Why is Fish Science a ‘natural fit’ for the firm, as described by Dr Pool?

At our heart we’re an insect producer. We started breeding insects in the mid 1980’s and today we’re producing and selling around six million packs of insects every week. The appeal for Fish Science is that we can improve on the insect protein offering through various other species of insect we produce that nobody else does. The use of insect meal in the formulation of Fish Science foods, along with its focus on natural and sustainable ingredients, has been central to the brand’s success.

Apart from that, having fish foods with insects bred here in the UK is a more sustainable approach than shipping dried insects around the world – both Fish Science and Peregrine Livefoods’ foundations are built on the use of insects as part of our foods. Peregrine is a young and dynamic company that has the resources and expertise to take the Fish Science brand to the next level. This synergy allows for a myriad of opportunities in the future.

What areas will Dr David Pool still offer consultation over?

David will continue to offer his assistance in a research and development role. He will assist in the developing and testing of new products that contain a wider variety of insects.

What does the firm now need to put in place to prepare for the acquisition?

Peregrine already has a full team across all areas. We do not need to expand our operation in any way, with a slight exception to creating a bit more space in the warehouse for more goods.

Does the firm have any future plans?

Absolutely – but I’m afraid that’s top secret and we cannot disclose any information regarding future movements at this time.

What are the benefits to entering into a different market and expanding offerings?

As mentioned previously, profitability is maximised by supplying more goods to the same customers, but beyond that it also de-risks a business. For us in the reptile sector, if there was ever a hit to the sector we’d have some form of backup by expanding into new areas. We have ambitions to expand our portfolio and market reach beyond reptiles and into the aquatic sector and we have succeeded this.

What may a firm need to consider when deciding whether to operate in a new market?

The list here is endless, though I’d say the number one thing is to ensure you have the right knowledge. Buying a business is easy, but the customers of that business need to trust you have the right credentials to take that business forward. That’s in part why we’ve agreed for Dr Pool to remain with us in an R&D capacity because we don’t have that skill set in house. We are also training our sales team to ensure they’ve got broader knowledge in the aquatic sector.

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