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Risky One Customer Bet Spain, September 18, 13

Spanish tuna canner Jealsa Rianxeira has made a risky, but so far successful bet by putting all of its eggs in one basket. The company has made the unusual commercial decision to entirely focus its processing operation on being the exclusive private label supplier of canned tuna brand for Mercadona, Spain’s largest supermarket chain. It has also given up the ambition of making its own brand ‘Rianxeira’ one of Spain leading marks, leaving the national branded market to Calvo and Isabel.

Packing under Mercadona’s ‘Hacendado’ brand, Jealsa is outperforming competition, commanding 48.6 percent of the Spanish tuna private label market. The decision seems to lock itself in with one large customer seems to have worked out well; in 2012, Jealsa secured a considerable jump from its 2011 revenue, with figures hiking from USD 666.6 million to USD 758.4 million. Profits were not disclosed.

The company began exporting products to Brazil three years ago, which is thought to be one of the contributing factors in the recent steep revenue upsurge.

Mercadona sells more canned tuna than any other retailer in Spain and in terms of coverage of its production volume, and continuity, Jealsa has a huge advantage as being its sole canned tuna supplier. Behind it, Frinsa is the second largest private label producer for canned tuna, controlling less that 30 percent of the P.L. market share.

The potential of Jealsa’s market position is only further boosted by the fact that Spain has the largest canned tuna consumption per capita in Europe, weighing in at 4.1 kilograms.

The company’s tuna production plant in Boiro, Spain, employs 1,000 people and has a capacity of 80,000 tons per year. Worldwide, Jealsa has 3,500 employees and in 2012 produced over 100,000 tons of processed tuna for the European market.

As the second biggest shareholder in Albacora, the largest tuna fishing company across the globe, Jealsa also sells products in the private label sector in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and Austria.

The company also has its own tuna purse seiner called ‘Sant Yago’, which fishes in the Atlantic Ocean. The vessel has a capacity of 9,000 metric tons.