Top 25: Pacific Seafood Q&A
Pacific Seafood 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 Pacific Seafood’s latest product innovations, and what kind of trends inspired them?
Pacific Seafood: Our in-house product development team uses market research to drive our value-added program that includes case-ready items such as: raw, fresh, or frozen tray packs, pre-seasoned and marinated, breaded and battered, and dips and spreads.
We specifically monitor emerging flavor trends, including those popular in other categories, and look at ways to incorporate them into seafood and protein. Some recent examples include Birria Shrimp, Sweet Bourbon Salmon, and Kimchi Aioli Cod.
Beyond flavors, we are passionate about reducing food waste and have innovative programs developed by our quality assurance team to do just that. Our new fresh lock technology extends shelf-life and ensures superior quality. The three-step process starts by processing in an o-zone environment, super-chilling the product with NanoICE, which brings the product to the chilled temperature within minutes, and finally packaging using 5k or 10K OTR, which is skin-tight and oxygen permeable, extending shelf-life.
SeafoodSource: Has the pandemic influenced/impacted your innovation process? If so, how?
Pacific Seafood: We made a strategic shift to become a market-driven company by responding to, and developing, products based on changing market demands. COVID-19 dramatically changed shopping priorities as 48 percent of consumers are cooking from scratch more frequently, leading to a 28 percent increase in consumption of frozen meals, and 23 percent increase in fresh prepared items. Because more consumers are cooking at home than ever before, they are looking for products that make seafood approachable, easy, and healthy.
We’ve responded by quickly ramping up our value-added production capabilities for both meat and seafood, focused on products with on-trend flavor profiles that are easy to cook, but provide a premium experience at home. Products include our seasoned shrimp, stuffed shrimp, meals in a bag (chicken piccata, beef tips in gravy), firecracker breaded and battered squid, and a forthcoming line of seafood sausages.
As part of our efforts to expand our value-added products for all center-of-the-plate proteins, we acquired a new land-based protein (beef, pork, and chicken) value-added company, which had been family-owned for over 20 years. They have more than 30 active employees who were retained through the transition. Everything is produced fresh and packaged in modified air that extends shelf-life by three to five days.
SeafoodSource: Heading into 2022, what are Pacific Seafood’s product portfolio goals/aspirations?
Pacific Seafood: In accordance with our mission to feed the world the healthiest protein on the planet, our portfolio of products is focused on items that overcome barriers to the consumption of seafood. We know that a major barrier for consumers is concerns around how to prepare seafood, so for this next year we will continue addressing this on many fronts, from bringing unexpected flavors to familiar products such as frozen dumplings and sausages, as well as meal solutions with new, on-trend flavor profiles.
As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are also working on products that encourage the consumer to try species new to them to help relieve the pressure on demand for shrimp and salmon. Our tray pack line has been incredibly popular on this front as it allows consumers to quickly grab a new species to try, at an affordable price point, without giving thought about how to season it. We will be expanding these offerings for the coming year.
Photo courtesy of Pacific Seafood