Macknight Smoked Foods owner bets big on “salmon skin crisps” start up

The company which is billed as “UK’s first handcrafted salmon skin crisps” is supported by Jonathan Brown, who owns 10% of the US smoked salmon market.

The young entrepreneurs who are making waves with their first-to-market salmon crisps have the backing of a well-known salmon business owner.

Brown was joined by Dan Pawson and Dominic Smith to talk to Forbes. “Jonathan is a mentoring owner of some of the most successful private-label smoked salmon brands in the world,” Pawson said. “He was the kind of man we wanted to be in business with.”

Jonathan Brown – who set up his own smoked salmon company when he was 16 – has a business empire under the company name MacKnight Food Group (MFG) and is a leading processor of Scottish and Norwegian farmed salmon.

Sea Chips which is billed as “UK’s first handcrafted salmon skin crisps” uses waste salmon skin – high in protein and omega-3 fats.

The duo told the publication that Sea Chips received its first investment from Brown about 10 months ago and has since secured a 10,000-square-foot production facility uniquely designed for making salmon in Cumbria, U.K., as well as multiple buyer connections.

Talking to SalmonBusiness in August, Pawson said that the (at the time) “secret” financial backer initially contacted the business owners via social media. “He messaged us on Instagram!” he said. “Thanks to our partner, we now have the capacity to produce 200,000 standard-size crisp bags a week.”

Sea Chips told Forbes that its first GPB 1 million revenue goal can be achieved within 18 months.

“We’re in talks with some major supermarkets in the U.K., and plan to be in three nationwide retailers by the end of 2019, which can be worth anything from £250,000 ($319,000) to £750,000 ($956,000) each,” Pawson noted, adding that potential retailers include Sainsbury, Ocado, and Waitrose.


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