Barnacle Foods debuts kelp-based habanero hot sauce

Barnacle Foods hot sauce

Juneau, Alaska, U.S.A.-based Barnacle Foods, a company that sells kelp-based food products, announced the release of a new product: a kelp-based habanero hot sauce.

“Since launching our original hot sauce three years ago, customers have been asking for more. After a year of recipe perfecting, we’re excited to share habanero hot sauce – made with fresh Alaska-grown kelp by our team in Juneau, Alaska,” Barnacle Foods R&D Manager Rose Spaeth said.

The hot sauces that Barnacle Foods offers, which also include serrano and bullwhip flavors, are created with seaweed sourced fresh from the Alaska coast as its primary ingredient. The habanero sauce, the company said, has a sweet and savory taste from the blend of spicy habanero, a touch of sweet mango flavor, and savory kelp.

“With each bite, we are sharing the flavors and story of Alaska's coast. Our mission is built into the fabric of what we do at Barnacle – from how our team is structured to the ingredients that we use,” Barnacle Foods Co-Founder Lia Heifetz said. “This model of business isn’t conventional, but we are excited to give people an opportunity to do good for the oceans and the collective future through foods they eat; lucky for everyone, kelp is tasty and checks all the boxes!”

Barnacle Foods, founded in 2016 by Juneau natives Matt Kern and Heifetz, has grown to offer a selection of Alaskan kelp-based products including salsas, jams and jellies, kelp pickles, and hot sauces using their own harvested kelp.

Through kelp harvesting, which Heifetz describes as “the future of food,” Barnacle Foods aims to complement traditional seafood producers, rather than be considered competition.

“The farming of kelp is a great opportunity for fishermen who are looking for ways to buffer their fishing season income. There is the opportunity to use existing boats and skill sets during the shoulder seasons of the peak fishing period (spring and fall),” Heifetz said. “Additionally, we work very closely with fishermen and small seafood processors by contracting their boats to harvest wild kelp from and using their existing infrastructure and gear fish totes, refrigeration, [and] tenders to move kelp that we’ve harvested from the harvest grounds to our processing facility. There are endless opportunities to collaborate with fishermen and existing seafood processors.”

This collaboration has led to the creation of products that only continue to grow in popularity as consumers become more aware of the benefits of kelp-based food.

“Every year, we’ve grown and learned and have a new set of challenges in front of us,” Heifetz said.

The company, which has facilities that can only be accessed by boat or seaplane, works to support the expanding kelp sector in Alaska and aims to provide a strong example for startups looking to get involved in kelp farming and harvesting.

Photo courtesy of Barnacle Foods


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