Eskimo targets frozen gap left by Eismann UK

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Ex-Spar chief Jerry Marwood is chairing a new company that is hoping to rebuild the collapsed delivered frozen food business Eismann UK - using a new business model.

Eskimo Frozen Foods, which has been trading for six weeks, is based at Eismann UK’s former Bedford head office, but is an entirely new company.

MD Ian Matthews insisted it had learned from Eismann UK’s mistakes and would not follow it into administration. It had changed the business model from franchises to direct employed driver deliveries from one depot, he said. Where Eismann UK had allowed franchisees to collect payment from customers - and was owed £900,000 by franchisees when it collapsed in January - Eskimo would take payment directly online or through telesales. Dealing directly with suppliers and customers allowed it to offer prices on average 15% lower than Eismann UK’s, he added.

The response to local mailshots had been “colossal”, he claimed, adding that turnover had grown 50% every week since Eskimo began trading.

“When you do a mailshot you usually expect 2% to 3% of people to come back to you, but we’re getting 30%,” he said.

Eskimo also planned to open a second depot in Reigate, Surrey, in January, to serve the London and the South East. “London is one of the biggest home delivery markets and Eismann didn’t serve it,” Matthews said. 

Further depots planned would allow it to expand deliveries nationally next year, he added. 

Eskimo is funded by private investment from six people with food retail experience - including Matthews, operations director Bill Asling and Marwood, who will spend a few days each month at Eskimo as chairman. 

Eskimo plans to offer a core range of premium products, supported by a variety of basic products. Although suppliers are predominantly from the UK, Eskimo also has an agreement to distribute lines such as frozen yoghurts from Eismann Germany.

Readers' comments (12)

  • I would like to have regular orders as I did with Eismann. I live at 6 Icknield Close, Didcot, OXON, OX11 7AU. My telephone number is 01235 812873.

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  • Eskimo are rubbish, I tried to make a telephone order, 8 out of my 9 products we're out of stock. The adviser on the telephone didn't have basic info like when the items would be in stock.
    Also the price list is missing several products & Eskimos website never works.

    Absolutely rubbish... Bring back EisMann

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  • Please accept my sincere apologies that a majority of the items that you wanted to order were out of stock. We are currently awaiting a delivery from Eismann in Germany, the telesales operative should’ve informed you of this at the time you tried to place your order, I am sorry that this did not happen. If you would like to leave me your contact details as soon as the stock has arrived I will contact you.

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  • Anonymous

    why oh why are many ex eismann customers complaining about poor service and non delivery. I think this is a recipe for disaster.

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  • Anonymous

    ***** delicious products ,excellent customer service.recommend to all

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  • I used to order from Eismann on a regular basis, tried Eskimo at Christmas and found the products good, but have received no contact from them since.

    With Eismann they always sent a catalogue with all the products and prices, which has not happened since!

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  • Anonymous

    I believe eskimo are about to go into administration.

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  • i believe eskimo foods have gone bust already there telephone number is not in service.how on earth did they expect to rebuild a business with ex eismann customers when the company went bust owing over a million pound and didnt even have the decency to tell there customers in anyway what had happened.they deserved better than that after being loyal to the company.then eskimo start a new company based on eismann and made a right mess of it and didnt have a clue.they didnt even try.could of done a better job with my eyes closed.

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  • Advice to customers. Please take my advice and do not touch Eskimo Frozen Foods. They do not care about customers. I got this from the horses mouth

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  • Phoenix Frozen Foods is a company set up by 4 ex-eismann franchisees. We are serving in the South East, please ring for any information on 01903 215170 or send us an email on phoenixfrozenfoods@yahoo.com
    We have been trading for over a year and have a full colour brochure! We look forward to hearing from you.

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