« February 2013 Table of Contents
Editor's Note: Product pitch
by Fiona Robinson
February 01, 2013
My phone used to ring nonstop from January through February with suppliers looking to get press for their product before the International Boston Seafood Show or European Seafood Exposition. But the phone has been eerily quiet the past few years, which I’ve attributed to processors not having extra money to funnel into new product development, marketing, or both. Given how long it has taken for the economy to show any signs of improvement, I think it’s a safe bet there isn’t a hidden cache of new products somewhere.
Sometimes before the show we’ll hear from a PR company representing a “brand new” concept for the industry, which typically means a breaded fish fillet or shrimp with a new flavor profile. But a truly new product that was brought up a few years ago is paiche, a fish that is farmed in Peru. Assistant Editor Melissa Wood reports on the latest with the so-called “King of the Amazon” in this issue’s Special Feature (see page 40 of ePub).
Like any new product, paiche needs an advocate to stand behind it and show potential buyers the benefits. Rick Moonen has done a great job pitching other species such as barramundi and cobia at his Las Vegas restaurant RM Seafood. See our news story on this by Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource.com’s online editor, on page 6 of ePub. Moonen strives to promote species diversity, not just for the sake of spreading out the supply pressure, but also for financial reasons.
One of the difficulties of taking on a truly new species is not knowing whether the supply will be regular, as even a farmed product can run into problems. All it takes is a disease or Mother Nature to intervene, and next month’s featured dish is already 86’d. This has to be the question buyers are asking right now about paiche.
Every year I look forward to seeing what new products are finalists in the Seafood Excellence Awards at the International Boston Seafood Show and the Prix D’Elite at the European Seafood Exposition. Buyers who are scoping out new products won’t want to miss either of these events.
If you have a new product I’ll gladly take your call, unless it’s to discuss snakehead. I have enough things to give me nightmares — it shouldn’t be my dinner plate.