Top 25: Annasea Q&A
Annasea Foods Group is featured in The Top 25 Seafood Product Innovators list, published by SeafoodSource on 28 September, 2021.
SeafoodSource: What are the key features highlighted in Annasea’s latest product innovations, and what kind of trends inspired them?
Annasea: Consumers, especially those ages 18 to 54, are looking for a quick and easy meal or entertainment-ready item. According to Dataessential, poke ranks in the 99th percentile for future growth potential – data shows menu adoption of poke has grown 457 percent since 2010 and continues to be featured on menus across fast-casual, casual, and fine-dining. Consumers are open and eager to experience an easily-replicable dish at home with a meal kit that requires no cooking and offers an authentic customizable experience. Poke naturally lends itself to enable customization with fresh ingredients or enjoyed alone on rice, salad, or with tortilla or wonton chips.
Annasea Frozen Poke Meal Kits meets the surge demand for new and exciting no-cook meal-kit options. Annasea has reoriented the frozen meal kit idea with ready to eat products that do not require any cooking. We’ve expanded our brand line of 10-ounce retail-ready poke kits with two new flavors to attract and delight diners new to poke: Annasea California Roll Ahi Poke and Annasea Sweet Chili Poke.
Annasea has responded to changing dietary flexibility in a growing audience – flexitarians, pescatarians, and vegetarians looking to balance out meat protein with plant-based or seafood protein. Annasea Sweet Chili Tofu Poke, Japanese-style fried tofu with sweet chili sauce, has broad appeal to consumers looking to try new plant-based proteins or [who] just want to expand menu options with family and guests with dietary requests. The popularity of avocado-everything and one of the most popular sushi rolls around – the California Roll – gets a fresh start with Annasea Frozen California Roll Ahi Poke Kit. Surimi and ahi tuna with our proprietary sauce made in-house makes it an Instagram-worthy, entertainment-friendly, feed-the-tribe-instantly meal. With easy-to-prepare Annasea poke, consumers can feed themselves, feed others in one simple kit.
SeafoodSource: Has the pandemic influenced/impacted your innovation process? If so, how?
Annasea: Annasea Foods Group takes pride in developing new lines and value-added products to meet an expanded audience of consumers looking for something new and different with lasting appeal. Our R&D activities have remained the same in developing and launching new lines: meeting standards of accredited GFSI scheme, developing mass appeal recipes, packaging to reflect consumer interests and trends (sustainability, high protein, easy preparation), competitive pricing, and market value.
With restaurant closures, the pandemic brought restaurants into homes through delivery and meal kits. With closures, work-from-home, and online schooling, consumers comfortably shifted into food and online grocery delivery. Annasea Foods Group’s line of frozen ready-to-eat meal kits achieve all the checkmarks consumers crave: quality ingredients, convenience, value, and unique offerings for under USD 10.00 [EUR 8.53] per kit.
The growth of poke as a popular grab-and-go meal, especially in upscale neighborhoods and metropolitan areas, means the food category is here to stay. The uniqueness of the product – thaw, mix, and serve meal-kits – makes it a staple menu with broad reach: [capturing] consumers through retail at a seafood counter, [at] individually-owned local poke shops, and major restaurant chains.
SeafoodSource: Heading into 2022, what can you tell us about Annasea’s product portfolio goals/aspirations?
Annasea: Annasea continues to remain committed to sustainability and build brand awareness for Annasea Foods Group’s line of nine retail-ready 10-ounce frozen poke kits, seafood department bulk packs of poke kits, alongside value-added products: frozen salmon, tuna, seafood burgers, smoked salmon, and other valued-added products.
Annasea continues to work with our distributor partners to bring products to retail across the U.S. and Canada.
Consumers are exposed to food through social channels (Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook) and thus eager to try something different, especially Asian food. Members of Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z embrace innovation and change through food and look for more options beyond perennial favorites like teriyaki, dim sum, pho, and fried rice. Consumers are open to rate their experience through social media and further spread the word, stoking demand.
Consumers are looking for convenience and authenticity when it comes to Asian food. Annasea Frozen Poke Meal Kits deliver convenience with a no fail, no-cook meal kit for less than USD 10.00 [EUR 8.53]. The perfectly seasoned sauce packets transport the consumer to a memory of an authentic flavor: the taste, texture, and smell of familiar ingredients.
Asian food is the fastest-growing food category in the world, according to market research firm Euromonitor. Asian grocery sales are predicted to reach USD 4 trillion [EUR 3.4 trillion] by 2023. Affluent, modern consumers are increasingly looking for the health benefit of food and will pay a premium for it, especially Asian consumers.
Photo courtesy of Annasea Foods Group