Thai Union Group-owned Chicken of the Sea is debuting the “world’s first pre-sliced, pre- seasoned tuna slices” made from whole yellowfin tuna loins at Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, 11 to 13 March, the company said.
The Yellowfin Tuna Slices product, which is being marketed to foodservice operators, is also a finalist in SENA’s Seafood Excellence Awards. The winners of the contest will be revealed on 11 March.
“We are so excited to be selected as one of the finalists for 2018 Seafood Excellence Awards. We believe the combination of innovative form and superior texture/flavor will be a hit with operators and consumers alike,” Jeff Hill, vice president of food service at Chicken of the Sea, told SeafoodSource in an email.
Scott Solar, Chicken of the Sea’s director of culinary development and responsible sourcing, said the Yellowfin Tuna Slices product offers a healthier, convenient alternative to traditional lunch meat.
“For years, nutritionists have been encouraging the consumption of more fish and seafood as alternatives to other protein sources,” Solar said. “We’re changing the classic deli experience forever by making sliced tuna a premium ready-to-eat option with tuna’s Omega-3 and health benefits for sandwiches, salads and anywhere else you would use sliced turkey, ham, and roast beef.”
Hill added that he believes there has been an “innovation void” in the tuna fish sandwich segment and “we haven’t seen anything like [this] in the marketplace.”
“Yellowfin slices address this void by allowing consumers to enjoy tuna without being drenched in mayo and other ingredients,” Hill said. “The product also allows operators to be more innovative in the way they serve tuna, whether in a Bahn Mi Sandwich, Asian salad or a new take on a sushi roll.”
Chicken of the Sea is in discussions with several foodservice outlets and the response has been “very good” so far, Hill said.
The two initial flavors of Yellowfin Tuna Slices are Black Pepper and Cajun. The product is sold in two-pound packages with two, 16-ounce yellowfin tuna slices per pack, for USD 6.50 (EUR 5.27) per pound wholesale, on average.
The Yellowfin Tuna Slices are also expected to receive Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the company said in its press release.
Chicken of the Sea is exhibiting at booth #519 at SENA.