Forever Oceans showcasing new Kahala product at Seafood Expo North America Reconnect
After years of development, Forever Oceans is preparing to launch its deep-ocean raised Forever Oceans Kahala product, beginning with a showcase starting at Seafood Expo North America Reconnect running from 15 to 19 March.
The new product is an ocean-raised seriola rivoliana that the company has dubbed Forever Oceans Kahala, and will at first come in fillets and whole-fish raised in Panama, Brazil, and soon, Indonesia. The product is raised in deep ocean water, using a proprietary aquaculture process developed by the company’s founder and CEO, Jason Heckathorn.
Forever Oceans Chief Marketing Officer Monica San Miguel told SeafoodSource the new product is initially targeted at foodservice, but the company is also planning to quickly enter the retail and direct-to-consumer markets.
“We already started in March with our sampling plan, we’re sending those out and the feedback so far has been really great from the culinary community,” San Miguel said. She added that the targeting of retail and direct to consumer markets was partially accelerated due to COVID-19’s impacts on foodservice.
Forever Oceans’ product, she said, differs from others both in how it is raised, and its quality.
“What’s different about it is it’s not only sashimi grade, but it’s higher in omegas than any salmon or tuna than you have seen,” San Miguel said.
While the species is sashimi grade, it’s also versatile, she added, and can be prepared in multiple ways.
“We’re really focusing around the culinary versatility of it, whether you’re a chef or a home cook," she said.
Forever Oceans Kahala is raised using a 24/7 remote monitoring system, allowing the company to both maintain quality and control the rate at which the fish are growing, and raise it to certain specifications.
“We have the ability, because we track it, if someone said, ‘We want a higher fat content,’ then we’re able to monitor for that and strive for that,” San Miguel said.
Forever Oceans started as a spin-off of Lockheed Martin’s Mobile Fish Pens line of business, which was founded by Heckathorn. After winning six commercial aquaculture contracts, and a TIME Magazine Best Inventions of the Year award, he spun the business off into the Forever Oceans Corporation.
Now, after those years of work, the company is ready to bring its Forever Oceans Kahala to the market.
As part of the product’s development, Forever Oceans has worked with and gained the endorsement of dozens of top chefs, and has a culinary board featuring chefs like Mark William Allison and Rick Moonen. Allison currently runs the Ocean Raised Blog for Forever Oceans, highlighting how to cook seafood; and Moonen is the host of the Ocean Raised Podcast, which has featured guests like Andrew Zimmern and Jacques Pepin.
San Miguel said the initial focus for the product will be the U.S. market, starting with foodservice and moving toward high-end retail and direct to consumer later on. She couldn’t give details on exact production goals, but could say that the company plans to target other markets given its global production.
“We’re obviously a global company, we are planning to have a large-scale production around the world,” she said.
At its core, the company’s goal is to provide sustainable food of high quality, using new technology.
“It’s the intersection of technology and food done well,” San Miguel said. “To be able to provide an option for a protein that’s sustainable and higher in omegas than what exists, to me that’s very exciting.”
Photo courtesy of Forever Oceans