Seafood manufacturers tackle causes of low consumption with new flavors & convenient packaging

By Elizabeth Crawford contact

- Last updated on GMT

Source: iStock
Source: iStock
Building on the momentum of FDA’s recent guidance that women and children should eat more fish, several seafood manufacturers are launching new products that could help the industry come closer to clearing the remaining barriers that have long blocked sales in the US.

Seafood consumption in the US has consistently fallen woefully under the recommended 26 to 39 pounds that FDA recommends Americans eat annually. In fact, at its best, consumption levels reached only 16.6 pounds per year per person in 2004 – a number that continued to fall steadily to a mere 14.6 pounds per year per person in 2015, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Americans disproportionately low consumption of fish can be attributed to several significant hurdles – not the least of which was confusion stemming from unclear FDA guidance about how much seafood was safe for pregnant and nursing women and young children.

Earlier this year, the agency helped industry clear this barrier when it issued “final advice”​ that Americans should eat 8 to 12-ounces of fish per week and provided colorful consumer education materials that health care providers and retailers could use to encourage compliance.

But lingering barriers to sales remain, including that most Americans don’t know how to prepare fish​ and are unwilling to experiment with it because of the high cost of seafood, according to industry stakeholders. In addition, they acknowledge, many Americans also perceive fish as bland or having an off-taste, which likely is related to their lack of knowledge about how to prepare it well. 

But new innovations from canned fish manufacturers Safe Catch and Bumble Bee Seafoods tackle these obstacles with new product launches that incorporate some of today’s hottest flavor trends and most desired healthy fats.

At the end of February, Safe Catch will launch six new flavors for its canned and pouched tuna products, including Chili Lime, Garlic Herb, Habanero Mint, Tandoori, Cajun and Citrus Pepper.

“As an added health bonus, Safe Catch is the first brand to season its tuna with avocado oil,”​ a spokeswoman said.

Bumble Bee also recently expanded the flavors available in several of its seafood lines, including two new Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna options: Ginger, Soy & Olive Oil and Pesto & Olive oil, which the company says are ready to add to rice, a lettuce wrap, pasta or baby green salad for an easy meal solution.

The company also expanded the flavors of its on-the-go seafood snack lines Seasoned Tuna Pouches with Spoon and Snack on the Run! Kits with Crackers. The new pouch flavors include an ever popular Sriracha option and a multicultural influenced Lemon Sesame & Ginger. The Snack on the Run! Kits trend closer to American favorites, including a Cheese Tuna Melk and a Rosemary, Garlic and Sea Salt Tuna Salad. 

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