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Editor's Note: Convenience matters

Property of SeaFood Business magazine
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 
waste disposal.

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.

 

 

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