Subsidiary Companies


Lyons Seafoods Ltd (Flying Goose Ltd)

This profitable company had a relatively short history, as far as Lyons were concerned. It was bought in 1985 and sold in December 1994. It dominated the market for own-brand frozen prawns with sales of £55 million per year.

In 1958 a Danish businessman, Per Jensen, was on a fact finding tour of Britain to study farming methods and business opportunities. He joined forces with a Major Briggs who had an estate at Codford, near Warminster, Wiltshire, which included the flying goose furlong. The two formed a company which they called Flying Goose Ltd, to raise, process and market ducklings for the hotel and catering trade within a sixty-mile radius of Warminster. By 1961 the business had been expanded beyond ducklings to poultry of all kinds, and to them was added a range of frozen products, including poultry, meat, fish, and vegetables, some of which was imported.

In 1965 Flying Goose Ltd decided to specialise in the importation of frozen poultry and seafood with the emphasis on prawns. Prawns soon began to dominate the business and by 1971 poultry was dropped and Flying Goose became the leading importer of prawns and shrimps in the UK.

Two types of prawns were processed, those from the cold waters of Norway, Iceland and Greenland and the others from the warmer waters of India, Pakistan and Thailand. Some small amount were imported from China. Apart from own-label packaging Flying Goose did have their own brand known as Dan-Maid. Other seafoods such as scampi, whitebait, mussels, squid, octopus, mackerel and salmon were gradually offered to their markets.

The main factory was situated in the village of Corsham with a second plant situated in Warminster and a third at Codford. Codford had its own laboratories where extensive quality control was carried out. collective 330 people were employed in the UK with a handful of others in the buying offices in Pakistan and Thailand.

In 1986 a programme of new product development started in order to keep abreast of the of changing consumer trends. The chilled sector which was said to have a growth rate of 110% per annum was identified as a target area. A range of seafood in sauces was launched, the first under the name of Lyons, called Prawnnaise. The range of nine items included Cooked King Prawns, Shell on Cold Water Prawns, Seafood Cocktail and Whitebait.

Flying Goose changed its name to Lyons Seafoods Ltd in about 1986 and Lyons disposed of the company in December 1994.

 © Peter Bird 2002