The business, which distributes in Ireland and the UK, specialises in fresh stuffing for the retail market, but also works with processors to offer breadcrumbs, crust toppings, flavoured butters and melts as value additions to protein.
Following a successful launch into Albertsons and SaveMart, in Oregon and California respectively, in November 2018, it has recently agreed listings with Pennsylvania retailers Giant Eagle and Acme for its branded stuffing range.
Company director Jason Coyle told Food Manufacture why the US was a target for Mr Crumb.
“Stuffing is a niche or speciality product and its main markets are Ireland, the UK and the US. As we were already in Ireland and the UK markets, in order to grow sales, the company needed to find new markets, hence the US.
“The US has a population of over 300 million, five times larger than the UK. Its retail market is fragmented and, therefore, you have more sales options and less risk with a particular retailer. The buyers generally love the British and Irish, and Americans are genuinely welcoming.”
He said the dietary differences between the two markets were minimal, which also helped. “What we eat is more or less the same, so our products are generally US consumer taste-ready, meaning that you may only have to change your packaging.”
Coyle said one of the biggest barriers to the US market was dealing with distributors. “The biggest challenge in the US is the distributors. The bigger ones probably won't want to work with you, some actually don't communicate via phone, they may agree and then not want to honour minimum quantities, and they will try to charge you for everything – from over-delivery to changed booking slots to administrative fees.”
To any business looking to crack the US, Coyle recommended enlisting a reputable broker to help the process along.
“The broker is essentially a middleman who represents you to the retailer,” he explained. “In reality, it is someone who maintains an active personal relationship with the retail buyer. For the manufacturer, the broker’s main advantage is their relationship with the buyer, meaning that the buyer is more likely to work with you. Some brokers may do very little else but their relationship is essential.”
He also detailed ambitions to gain listings in six new US retailers in 2019, with a view to being present in around 1,000 stores, as well as increasing sales in existing stores.
The company has also recently added a new line producing ‘hot to go’ sandwiches, including burritos and burgers, for UK retail and foodservice.