« May 2007 Table of Contents
Editor's Note: Convenience matters
By Fiona Robinson, Editor in Chief
May 01, 2007
A decade ago, PBO salmon fillets were considered the epitome
of convenient seafood. These days, convenient seafood products
that make life easier for buyers and the end user, consumers,
go far beyond the PBO concept. Just look at the two winners of
the Seafood Prix d'Elite new products competition at the
European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Belgium: fresh shucked
raw lobster meat and ready-to-heat surimi-seafood meals (See
Newsline story, page 8).
The lobster meat, from Shucks Maine Lobster and North
American ImEx, is shucked using high-pressure processing. First
introduced to seafood products several years ago with oysters,
the HPP technique has truly revolutionized the convenience
factor for these two species.
When I visited the Avure Technologies plant in Washington
almost 10 years ago (they produce a HPP machine used by seafood
processors), I was amazed at what the process did for oysters,
which pop right open after being subjected to high pressure. I
have yet to see HPP used on lobster, but considering the
crustacean's high prices these days, I'm sure chefs appreciate
any cost savings by reduced labor and
Angulas Aguinaga's La Gula del Norte, the other Prix d'Elite
winner, brings surimi seafood to the next level of convenience.
While one could argue surimi-seafood sticks are an ideal simple
seafood, La Gula del Norte is presented in a unique format
that's easy for consumers. It also is another example of how
many ways surimi seafood can be used.
Products like these two award winners drive home the
convenience message to consumers. Seafood is a healthy protein
that typically cooks faster than other center-of-the-plate
items. Marketers need to continue plugging seafood products as
healthy and convenient. You can repeat seafood's health message
until you're blue in the face, but that's not always the top
selling point for the professional buyer or consumer. But a
product that saves time in the kitchen and still tastes good is
a true winner in my book.