Mackenzie Ltd. Reels in Ducktrap River Fish Farm

Baltimore-based food cataloger Mackenzie Ltd. announced May 18 that it will merge its mail order business with that of Belfast, ME-based smokehouse Ducktrap River Fish Farm.

Launched in 1984, the $1.5 million Mackenzie mails 500,000 catalogs a year, selling seafood, meats, desserts, hors d’oeuvres, and cheeses. The average order value is $135, according to president Laura McManus, who with her father purchased the catalog from the Mackenzie family in 1996. The company plans to add eight pages of Ducktrap River products — including smoked salmon, caviar, lobster, shrimp, mussels, and crab — to its catalog beginning in September.

At that time, Mackenzie will stop mailing the 24-page Ducktrap consumer catalog, which was launched about 20 years ago. Primarily a wholesaler to high-end restaurants, Ducktrap River Fish Farm produces more than 35 seafood products and employs 150 people at its state-of-the-art processing facility.

Acquiring Ducktrap River’s catalog business should enable Mackenzie to continue its growth spurt. As of press time, the company’s sales were running 24% ahead of last year’s and 16% ahead of plan. With the help of Bethany Beach, DE-based circulation consultant Steve Lett, McManus says, Mackenzie doubled its annual sales in two years through increased circulation, participation in cooperative databases, and use of targeted list rentals. The Ducktrap River deal will provide the cataloger with more than 70,000 additional names.