Trish Dromey looks at Marigot Ltd, a company based in Carrigaline, Co Cork, which exports 95% of its products.
Winning the Ingredient of the Year Award in the Healthy Aging category at a trade show in Geneva, has provided Cork seaweed minerals company Marigot with very welcome international recognition.
The win, according to Marigot Commercial Manager David O’Leary, is another strong indication that seaweed is now achieving global recognition as a superfood.
Marigot, which is based at Carrigaline and has harvesting and production facilities in Castletownbere, has been in existence since the early 1990s, when it was set up by Les Auchincloss, a previous owner of Biocon.
A pioneer in the study of the nutritional value of seaweed minerals, the company created two product ranges for use as an ingredient in foodstuffs, one for human consumption and one for animal feeds.
The product range for the agri-feed sector, which improves digestion and rumen conditioning in cows, is called Acidbuf, while the food ingredients and supplement industry range is called Aquamin.
With these two brands, Marigot now has sales in 40 countries globally and a turnover of in excess of €20m.
The biggest success until now has been in selling to agri-feed sector which accounts for 70% of turnover, but Mr O’Leary believes that the growing recognition of the benefits of seaweed will help the company to significantly increase sales of Aquamin in the future.
Produced from seaweed harvested in Iceland, Aquamin is used in food products and supplements.
Engaged in continuous research and new product development since it was set up, the company has, over the last 10 years, devoted significant resources to conducting scientific research to demonstrate the efficacy of its products.
“We have undertaken extensive scientific programmes covering multiple areas of bone, joint and digestive health which are of particular strengths for our products,’’ says Mr O’Leary, adding that Aquamin is proving effective when used in food supplements by people suffering from osteoarthritis and osteopaenia.
“We now have proven scientific evidence from multiple trials while Aquamin has been named ingredient of the year in the healthy aging category at the Vitafoods Exhibition in Geneva – a significant European event in the food supplements industry.”
The largest markets for Aquamin products include the US and Europe and customers include the likes of Frito Lay (Pepsico), Del Monte and Procter & Gamble. Australia, Europe and South Africa are the largest markets for the animal feed product range.
Mr O’Leary says that over the last six to seven years, the company has achieved growth of in excess of 10% per annum.
Selling 95% of its products abroad, Marigot won the High Growth Markets Exporters Award for 2015 from the Irish Exporters Association.
Sales have been boosted by the launch in recent years of Margot’s first consumer products which are sold directly on a new company website, www.osean74.com.
Mr O’Leary says that sales have been going well and that Marigot is working on developing further products which can be sold directly to consumers.
The company, which now employs a staff of 30, is anticipating continued growth of in excess of 10% this year.
“We expect continued growth in existing markets and also plan to develop new markets. The focus will be on increasing sales in South America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa where we see scope for growth”.
In 2017 the company will also continue working on product development. It plans to add to the five product lines for the agri-food sector and develop products in new areas in addition to ones for digestive and bone health.
In the food and food supplement area, Mr O’Leary says Marigot will aim to take advantage of the increasing recognition of the benefits of seaweed minerals and the fact that there has been a 147% increase in the launch of seaweed flavoured products in the last five years.
Chairman: Les Auchincloss
Product: Seaweed-derived minerals for nutrition
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