A ‘Dragon’s Den’ style-event has been held at Young’s Seafood Limited to find the best new, innovative packaging ideas that could transform the future of seafood. Young’s invited five suppliers from Packaging and Ingredients to pitch an innovation or improvement concept directly to the Young’s board during the event. Each supplier was invited to create their pitch around a different theme presented throughout the day.  The morning saw pitches on the Digital Age and The Future of Packaging, then after an Inspirational Lunch hosted by Young’s ingredient’s supplier, Jardox, the board went on to review presentations on the themes of Convenience and Improved Retailer Offers. Many of the ideas showcased at the event, are likely to come to market soon, with Young’s Seafood Limited being the first seafood processor to work in partnership with suppliers to bring the innovation to supermarkets across the UK. 

Stuart Caborn, Group Purchasing Director at Young’s Seafood Limited, said: “To inspire people to love fish now and for generations to come, we’re constantly developing new ideas and innovation. We enjoyed a great day with our Dragon’s Den style event; it’s a really creative way to give suppliers the opportunity to showcase their ideas and lead change, which is what our Virtual Integration strategy is all about. Virtual Integration involves true collaboration, based on shared values and a commitment to driving improvement for mutual benefit.”

Pete Ward, Chief Executive of Young’s Seafood Limited, added: “We believe that Virtual Integration, rather than Vertical Integration, is the best way to remain agile and survive in a dynamic, challenging retail market. It’s about taking the lead, being the architects of change and championing new innovative ideas, making them a reality and working together to bring them to market. During this event we saw some ground-breaking ideas, with the potential to transform how people prepare fish at home, and we’re very excited to take this innovation to the next level.” 

Helen Nickells, Head of Packaging Development at Young’s Seafood Limited, said: ‘’Creating a platform within Young’s that enables our key Virtual Integration partners to deliver first to market innovation through the leading Seafood company in the UK is a key pillar of our Virtual Integration philosophy. It’s important that our partners have the ability to present the concepts direct to the Operating Board and ultimately gain a Board Sponsor through our Golden Ticket Nominations, which drives ownership and speed to market.”

The suppliers that took part were Ultimate Packaging, Jardox, Graphic Packaging International, FFP & DS Smith. The event saw one floor of Young’s Seafood’s headquarters in Ross House, Grimsby, transformed into a Dragon’s Den style warehouse for the day – the design was all supplied by one of Young’s suppliers, DS Smith. For suppliers, the event was an opportunity to impress at the highest level and to win over a key decision maker at Young’s in support of their product or concept. For Young’s, the day was about building relationships and promoting innovation. After a successful day, there are plans to roll out the Dragon’s Den style format to other areas of the business.