Top 25: Phillips Foods Q&A

Published on
September 28, 2021
Phillips Foods' Sea Burgers

Phillips Foods 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 Phillips Foods’ latest product innovations, and what kind of trends inspired them?

Phillips: We’re really excited about our new foodservice seafood dips, which we’re bringing out in several flavor varieties. Operators can serve them as is, or they can be used to create unique entrées by using them as a flatbread topping, stuffing for chicken or fish, topping for a burger or nachos, or filling for wonton cups and mushrooms. We wanted to create a versatile line of products that could have multiple potential uses for an operator, where one inventory item could be used creatively across the menu.

For our grocery store consumers, we’ve been focusing on single-serve meal solutions and are bringing out several new additions to our frozen soup line (Seafood Cioppino, Manhattan Clam Chowder, and Red Curry Seafood Soup), plus some savory Sweet and Sour Tuna Meatballs, which make great lunch or dinner options. We’re also working on some new flatbreads (Sriracha Shrimp and Clam Oreganata) which are perfect as an entrée or sliced and served to share as an appetizer – we’re excited to see where we can go flavor wise with our flatbreads in the coming years.

SeafoodSource: Has the pandemic influenced/impacted your innovation process? If so, how?

Phillips: As restaurant operators ourselves, we know how significantly the pandemic has affected the restaurant industry, especially in the areas of staffing and the stability of the supply chain. We’ve needed to find solutions to these issues in our own restaurant operations.

Over the last 18 months, operators have streamlined their menus significantly to strip out some of the expensive prep work that had previously dragged down their bottom line. Our development process keeps the needs of the restaurant operator top-of-mind, and our goal is to make products that solve problems for chefs. It’s not enough for the product to taste delicious – it also has to help the operator achieve their business goals.

On the retail side, we are looking more closely at what items we can produce here in our U.S. plants, to soften the stress on supply chain logistics and costs of containers coming from Southeast Asia. It gives us some additional flexibility with product development.

SeafoodSource: Heading into 2022, what are Phillips Foods’ product portfolio goals/aspirations?

Phillips: We’re hopeful and confident that seafood will maintain the heightened level of consumer interest it has enjoyed during the past 18 months. Grocery shoppers have gotten more experienced in cooking with seafood and are looking to further their culinary education. We’ll continue to expand our product line with new flavors and new preparations to try to earn space in their shopping carts.

In foodservice, we’ll be developing new value-added crab, shrimp, fish, and other seafood products to help operators face the unique challenges of the restaurant business.

Photo courtesy of Phillips Foods

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