Mazzetta launches new Oishii shrimp line featuring shrimp transported live for processing
Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.A-based Mazzetta Company has launched a new line of premium shrimp featuring product that is transported live for processing.
The Oishii line of shrimp (oishii means delicious in Japanese), for both foodservice and retail, is now being sold nationwide, company founder and CEO Tom Mazzetta told SeafoodSource.
“At Mazzetta, we always want to know how we can make something better. Not cheaper in quality, but better. We want people who eat seafood to have a great experience every time they eat seafood,” Mazzetta said. “And we think Oishii provides that experience.”
Oishii shrimp are farmed close to processing facilities and transported live via aerated tanks, ensuring a maximum level of freshness, Mazzetta said. In its marketing of the line, the company asserts that its shrimp go “from swimming to frozen within four hours.”
“Oishii shrimp are processed immediately upon receival with no soak during transportation. Keeping the product alive until requiring processing is key to how the product tastes and looks,” the company said.
The entire process took a decade of research, development, construction, and trials, Mazzetta said. A close working relationship with Mazzetta’s shrimp-farming partner, Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand Foods was vital for developing the processes and farm sites necessary to make Oishii a reality, he added.
“It’s a big deal because it's something that’s pretty new to the shrimp industry,” Mazzetta said. “[With CP Foods], it’s basically like having our own laboratory, it’s very sophisticated farming, not the regular type of farming done around the world,” he said.
Additionally, Oishii shrimp are hand-processed naturally, preserving taste, he added.
“For Oishii shrimp, we don’t have the water pick-up like shrimp gets when it’s sitting in water dead. And because we don’t have any water-pick up, we get a better flavor and a firmer texture,” Mazzetta said. “The most striking difference is the color. You get a very vibrant color processing this way. Before it’s cooked, it has a shell that’s extremely dark in color, and once it’s cooked, the shrimp turns a very bright orange red color. U.S. consumers eat with their eyes, so color is very important. And you definitely taste the difference.”
Mazzetta Director of Marketing Chris DiGiovanni told SeafoodSource the idea for live processing came from the beef and chicken industries, who process their animals live.
“Steak is preserved so well, done so fresh – we wanted to do the same thing with shrimp,” he said.
Mazzetta said he believes Oishii Shrimp brand gives his company a significant advantage in the marketplace.
“As an industry, if we don’t continue to work on making our products better, we’re all going to lose. And at Mazzetta, we saw an opportunity with Oishii to be better than everybody else, and with how many years it took us to develop, it’s going to take other companies a very long time to develop Oishii shrimp [if they wanted to try],” he said.
In the end, it’s U.S. customers who will benefit.
“At Mazzetta, we always want to know how we can make things better – not cheaper in quality but better,” he said. “We want people who eat seafood to have a great experience every time they eat seafood. And we think Oishii provides that experience.”
Photo courtesy of Mazzetta Co.