Top 25: Wixter Seafood Q&A
Wixter Seafood is featured in The Top 25 Seafood Product Innovators list, published by SeafoodSource on 28 September, 2021. Wixter Founder/Owner Matt Mixter speaks here on behalf of the company.
SeafoodSource: What are the key features highlighted in Wixter Seafood’s latest product innovations, and what kind of trends inspired them?
Mixter: Foundational values – sustainable prime cuts with no preservatives, no additives, and no antibiotics ever. It’s very challenging to find a seafood brand that offers center cut/premium forms in the freezer doors at retail, so we have given independent and small-to-midsized retail chains the opportunity to be proud of the product they are selling versus simply looking at the freezer as the discount bin in their seafood departments. If private label exists, Wixter is a perfect complimentary brand to place SKUs that they don’t have in their private label offering such as Australian yellowtail, Chilean sea bass, Ecuadorian mahi, etc.
The thing I will say is that the market is brainwashed to think that only wild-caught and fresh are quality. I think our message to bring the Wixter Promise forward is our guiding principles that help balance the supply chain between farmed and wild. The key is proving to the consumer that high-quality can be found in the freezer. This highlights things that matter to the customer and the environment combined: “Seafood you can trust,” [and] “Quality seafood that gives you the control of freshness.”
SeafoodSource: Has the pandemic influenced/impacted your innovation process? If so, how?
Mixter: Yes, we are developing more value-add products that are ready-to-eat and convenient. The pandemic has obviously led to a tremendous amount of people cooking more at home. With people staying at home, they are still looking to bring a restaurant-quality meal into the home. Our extreme attention to quality and prime cuts helps make that a convenient reality: “A diverse range of restaurant quality seafood, delivered to your door step every month.”
SeafoodSource: Heading into 2022, what can you tell us about Wixter Seafood’s product portfolio goals/aspirations?
Mixter: We aspire to put the most delicious sustainable seafood on every table by teaching consumers what ethically-sourced, 100 percent traceable frozen seafood looks and tastes like. We’re also working directly with all our producers to push the envelope on a few new restaurant experiences we’d like to see added to the consumer’s grocery list. We will be focused on ready-to-eat products as well and our newly launched branded freezer partnerships with local Butcher shops. The brand will also be inclusive and collaborative, not competitive.
I think this is simple. Let people get what they want, when and how they want it. We need to focus on getting our fish into their mouths. We cannot force people to try things they don’t want. What we need to do is double-down on the unmatched quality we bring to the table, and the belief that if people try what they want, they will fall in love and likely start to try other products, no strings attached.
Photo courtesy of Wixter Seafood