Gilco is a family business founded by Gilbert Colanbeen and since 1960 has specialised in the preservation of herring and matjes-herring (or young herring). The business started on a small scale in the Kleine Moerstraat in Belzele, Belgium, and in 1996, due to great success, moved to the Durmakker Industrial Park in Evergem.
For more than 50 years, Gilco has been at the forefront of taste innovation in all aspects of herring. From simple rollmops to numerous herring snacks in a dressing of sherry, curry, beetroot and so much more.
In 2011, at the largest and most prestigious seafood trade show in the world, Gilco won the Seafood Prix d’Elite with its product ‘Fruit and Fish’. The Seafood Prix d’Elite is a competition for new products that takes place annually at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels. In this competition, the best seafood products for the retail and foodservice markets in Europe over the past year are judged by a jury of prominent buyers, chefs and industry experts. Gilco won the award in the ‘originality’ category.
‘Fruit & Fish’ combines herring with two different fruit marinades: tropical fruits or apple with blueberries. It is presented in a colourful package and offered with a handy fork. With this innovative product, Gilco appeals to a young audience and immediately launches a new way to enjoy herring.
In September 2014, Gilco acquired the pickled herring company Poolster in Borgerhout. Poolster has been a trusted regional product for 86 years. In the future, Gilco will produce the traditional herring with respect to the old recipes. The Poolster company has been based in Borgerhout since 1928, but Pierre Stubbe, the manager of Poolster, decided to review the business in September 2014. The strength of the Poolster products lies in the fact that no sugars or preservatives are added.