The fish is tightly sealed at Bond Seafood
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The fish is tightly sealed at Bond Seafood

  • 01 May 2018
  • Door: Babette Tierie

Bond Seafood has sold smoked fish and herring since 1741 – by now, no longer wrapped in an old newspaper, but using the hyper-modern machines of MULTIVAC. Partly thanks to these machines, Bond Seafood continues to grow.

Bond Seafood is known for its smoked mackerel and trout from head to tail, filleted fish, pieces of salmon and schools of sprat. But trios of three types of fish in smaller pieces are in their assortment too. And of course matjes-herring, rechristened Dutch Sushi by Bond. All these various types of fish immediately catch the eye thanks to their super-tight MultiFreshTM packaging. The foil has been pulled so tightly around the fish that you would put it on your plate right away. This is why it is also called skin packaging. ‘The warm foil in the machine adheres precisely to all spots where there is no content. There is no tension on the product itself, so the fish maintains its volume and structure’, Marcel Bond explains. 

Skin packaging

The machine the fish in skin packaging comes rolling out of is from the factory of machine builder MULTIVAC. Managing director Tim Hage visits Bond Seafood regularly. Marcel has known Tim since 1998, when the Bond brothers wanted to purchase their first machine. ‘At the time, we were putting the fish into vacuum bags. But we could not manage the production anymore, so we had to look for a new thermoformer. If you want the Rolls Royce among machines, you should go to MULTIVAC. Everyone within our branch knows that. We thought we could not afford that. But against all odds, we did purchase a thermoformer anyway. I had to recover from the price’, Marcel says laughing. ‘But Tim said to me: “You really think this was your last?”’
Less than a year later, Marcel phoned MULTIVAC and Tim was proven right. ‘Our production kept increasing, so we really needed an additional machine’, says Marcel. ‘So we bought a third machine. We now have six, providing the main part of our fish with skin packaging.’

Remain distinctive

Marcel finds it important to remain innovative and distinctive, so he follows the trends in the market closely. And he also has an increasing appeal on young people with his products, with the skin packaging playing an important role. ‘The trick is to offer your fish in such a way that it matches the customers’ needs’, Marcel thinks. ‘They want smaller portions, finger food and food that can be brought to the table quickly and easily. We sell tapas dishes with three different pieces of fish in a package if 150 grams. Barbecuing is still hot too, so we offer precooked grill items that won’t fall apart.’ 

But that is not all, he knows. ‘Customers choose and buy products with their eyes. In our packaging, the fish looks fresh and artisanal, even if I send it to the other side of the world. This offers benefits in a time when shopping is increasingly done online. Products may be thrown into a crate of box, but the fish stays in perfect condition.’ 


Marcel is currently in the process of purchasing a new machine. As usual, Tim accompanies him in the process. He knows Bond Seafood so well by now that he clearly understands their wishes and production process. ‘It is my aim to help companies find the best way to package products’, says Tim. ‘I listen to my clients’ stories and want to know how their production processes work. This way, we can compose the most ideal machine together.’ 

Good maintenance

Sometimes Bond Seafood’s clients’ also drop by in Breda. Often, they are immediately impressed by the machines. ‘Well, you have real MULTIVACS here’, Marcel hears them say. ‘But MULTIVAC also needs maintenance every now and then’, he says. ‘Once a year I have maintenance carried out and machines are taken apart. Worn components are replaced. After that, they will operate at full capacity for a year again, 24 hours a day. This annual maintenance gives me the assurance that production will never shut down and I can deliver on time.’ 

Continued growth

Business is going well at Bond Seafood. A new extension of no less than five thousand square metres is planned. ‘Since my granddad and grandpa moved from Volendam to Breda to revive their company internationally, we have only become bigger. They understood even then that we can serve the Belgian and German markets better from here. In the centre of Breda they started a shop where my grandma sold fish. In the back, my granddad ran the wholesale business and smokehouse. How they packaged the fish in those days? In yesterday’s newspaper!’

Photo: From left to right: Marcel Bond, Glennda van Hassel and Tim Hage

Source: ©Pentalux Photography & Video / Peter Roek