The Top 25 Seafood Product Innovators – 2021 Edition

SeafoodSource's Top 25 Seafood Product Innovators emblem

Barnacle Foods

Barnacle Foods has been bringing a bit of Alaska to consumers’ homes throughout 2020 and 2021.

The Juneau, Alaska, U.S.A.-based kelp supplier told SeafoodSource that its offerings – particularly Bullwhip and Piri Piri Hot Sauce, Serrano Bullwhip Hot Sauce, and Kelp and Alaskan Amber Ale BBQ Sauce – have been hot commodities over the last 18 months as consumers have sought to responsibly expand their personal pantries with flavorful staples.  

The firm’s portfolio features “Alaska-grown kelp as the primary ingredient” in a variety of accessible and appealing product formations – including seasonings, hot sauces, barbeque sauce, pickles, and salsas. Bold, exciting flavors are just one aspect of the products’ draw, according to Barnacle Foods.

“Not only do they taste great, but our products are a way for customers to eat foods that help fight climate change from the comfort of their homes,” the company said, adding that growing and eating more kelp helps buffer the effects of ocean acidification.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Barnacle Foods has observed consumers gravitating towards products that sync-up with their personal values.

“The pandemic allowed us to reach customers who transitioned to eating and cooking more foods at home,” the firm said. “Throughout the pandemic, we saw customers seeking out Barnacle Foods with hopes to support our mission – customers wanted to spend money with businesses that aligned with their values. We make that easy: We ship to people all over the country and create products that are easy and family-friendly – great for eating on the go and special enough to gift.”

Barnacle Foods’ creations were making waves before pandemic lockdowns swept much of North America, with the company claiming top honors at the Alaska Symphony of Seafood Awards ceremony held in February 2020: It nabbed first place in the retail category for its Bullwhip Hot Sauce, as well as the competition’s grand prize.

“Our team is honored to be recognized for our Bullwhip Hot Sauce. We have been amazed by people's response since its release. Alaska bull kelp is the number-one ingredient in the hot sauce, which imparts a deep umami flavor,” Barnacle Foods said of the win. “The Alaska kelp industry is on an exciting trajectory and these awards showcase that we can make really delicious foods out of kelp. We will continue to develop new products which showcase the flavors of Alaska kelp.”

Earlier this year, the company partnered with fellow Alaska-based firm Wildfish Cannery on the limited-time launch of Wildfish Cannery Octopus in Bullwhip Kelp Hot Sauce, a small-batch product that marked the first tinned seafood and kelp collaboration in the state.

“We said yes to working with Wildfish not only because of their track record for creating delicious artisanal products, but because we view the company as an ally in achieving our mission to harness the value of Alaska’s resources, create resiliency for coastal communities, and keep the health of our oceans a top priority amidst changing ocean climates,” Barnacle Foods Co-Owner Lia Heifetz said in June 2021 of the partnership.

As 2022 approaches, Barnacle Foods is going to continue “innovating and creating foods that feature Alaska-grown kelp as the primary ingredient,” it said.

“Our goal is to create foods that the everyday consumer can easily use. We will work to continue to grow to become available in retailers all over the country,” the company said.

Photo courtesy of Barnacle Foods


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