Top 25: Tampa Maid Foods Q&A
Tampa Maid Foods is featured in The Top 25 Seafood Product Innovators list, published by SeafoodSource on 28 September, 2021. Tampa Maid Foods Director of Marketing Jenny Doan speaks here on behalf of the company.
SeafoodSource: Which products have you seen resonating in 2020/2021?
Doan: Seafood offerings that are convenient and easy to prepare are resonating with both consumers who are cooking more meals from home, and also from restaurant operators that are grappling with labor issues.
With the preponderance of take-out/to-go food from restaurants, seafood that travels well and replicates an in-dining experience is important to consumers.
The use of global flavors, sauces, and seasonings is increasing as consumers "travel with their tastebuds" during the pandemic. Pairing an innovative/spicy flavor with something familiar is prevalent – examples are a breaded shrimp flavored with Piri Piri or a shrimp enrobed in a Nashville Hot Sauce.
The strong growth of retail/grocery seafood sales continues as consumers seek nutrient dense foods high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vitamins. Health-conscious consumers recognize the healthful properties of seafood and are adding more fish, shrimp, and scallops to their diets. Seafood manufacturers are utilizing their packaging to communicate the nutrients by adding front of pack call-outs around the healthful benefits of seafood.
SeafoodSource: What are the key features highlighted in Tampa Maid Foods’ latest product innovations, and what kind of trends inspired them?
Doan: As a solution for foods that hold up well in to-go packaging, Tampa Maid created a proprietary coating system, Crunch Keeper, that keeps foods crunchier and crispier longer. We launched several shrimp and calamari products with the Crunch Keeper coating system so that restaurants can offer breaded seafood that holds up better and maintains its crunchiness.
In answer to the global flavors trend and in partnership with Sysco, we launched a Mexican Street Corn Breaded Shrimp. This is a Latin-inspired innovation pairing the unique flavors of Mexican street corn (elote) with shrimp.
The past year has spurred an increase in snacking and also food boredom with more meals being consumed at home. This trend fueled Tampa Maid to introduce a new line of Margaritaville Bites [in] four flavors including Buffalo Shrimp, Crunchy Shrimp Bites, Pimento Cheese Bites, and Krab Bites. These bite-sized treats make a great snack and also a meal.
SeafoodSource: Has the pandemic influenced/impacted your innovation process? If so, how?
Doan: The pandemic absolutely impacted our innovation process. When the restaurant industry shut down its inside dining and focused on take-out and delivery, we quickly brought our Crunch Keeper coating solution to the market, well ahead of schedule. Other projects were put on hold because the timing and market conditions weren’t optimal for success.
SeafoodSource: Heading into 2022, what can you tell us about Tampa Maid Foods’ product portfolio goals/aspirations?
Doan: At Tampa Maid Foods, we are focused on monitoring the ever-changing landscape and consumer needs to transform our portfolio over time. Creating delicious foods that delight consumers while also providing some benefit, whether that’s in the nutritional content and/or in simply the pleasure that comes from eating it.
Photo courtesy of Tampa Maid Foods