Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods (COSFF) is tracking the pulse of the seafood industry—and is serving up big ideas to meet evolving market demands. The team is leading the way in seafood product development, aligned with consumer aspirations for healthy seafood, convenience, and a restaurant-like experience at home.
Takeaways are driving seafood innovation to advance the success of food retailers as well as foodservice chains. Take a look at the findings of the Chicken of the Sea 2022 Industry Insights:
Value-added seafood appeal
Seafood has been enjoying a well-deserved health halo that has grown since the pandemic. Technomic reported in 2021 that 36% of consumers were eating more seafood to be healthier (Technomic Consumer Trend Report: Seafood and Vegetarian, 2021).
A barrier to seafood consumption for many is lack of confidence in preparing seafood, Technomic reported. This makes value-added seafood products particularly appealing to consumers. It’s no surprise that in the value-added category, seafood category leapfrogged its meat-based peers, growing 14.8% in 2021 (Progressive Grocer).
COSFF 2022 Industry Insights data found that food executives and buyers reported being surprised by consumer requests for value-added (44%) products, as well as products that are ready-to-eat (42%) and ready-to-cook (42%). The dynamic is fast-swimming, and demand for exciting seafood convenience is strong.
The restaurant experience at home
Pre-pandemic, consumers leaned towards enjoying seafood at restaurants, to avoid dilemmas about how to prepare it. Today, though, the shift is towards restaurant-style seafood coupled with convenience for dining at home. COSSF has risen to the challenge in new and innovative ways.
A ground-breaking home seafood solution this year is Red Lobster at Home. The product website invites consumers, “When you crave delicious seafood, but don’t want the hassle of cooking an entire meal, we’ve got you covered.” The new lineup of seafood products builds on the existing popularity of Red Lobster’s award-winning Cheddar Bay Biscuits and household recognition of one of the world’s largest and most-loved seafood restaurants. The product line-up includes Cheddar Bay Biscuit® Shrimp, Coconut Shrimp Bites, Cheddar Bay Biscuit® Cod, and Parmesan Crusted Garlic & Herb Stuffed Shrimp.
Award-winning crispy stuffed shrimp
COSFF Crispy Stuffed Shrimp earned acclaims from Progressive Grocer in its Editor’s Choice Awards. The Progressive Grocer award recognizes “products that excel in innovation, functionality, value and packaging design.” Crispy Stuffed Shrimp offers a “restaurant-quality experience at home,” said Progressive Grocer. “The company found that most products include only plain breaded shrimp and fish. Chicken of the Sea sought to change that with this product launch, bringing to market novel flavor profiles with decadent stuffings and innovative breading. The line’s varieties can serve as an appetizer or dinner item, with the added convenience of easy prep in an oven or air fryer,” they noted.
Chicken of the Sea’s Crispy Stuffed Shrimp also took top honors in the BrandSpark Best New Product Awards for 2022, and was among the highest scoring products overall in the Food & Beverage category. This consumer survey, released in partnership with Newsweek, found that 8 out 10 shoppers consider taste to be the most important factor driving their purchases, especially in a year when many consumers looked to enjoy delicious treats at home.
Shrimp that stays crispy
Another innovation from the COSFF team meets consumers where they are with a convenient breaded shrimp product that stays perfectly crisp. Perfectly Crisp Shrimp, ready in minutes, is a solution for retail deli departments and foodservice take-out or delivery menus, where holding quality is a traditional challenge. The secret? A proprietary coating stays crispy for up to 2 hours in a hot hold environment for the perfect balance of great texture and taste.
COSFF EVP of Sales & Marketing Brenden Beck explained with the launch of the 2022 survey results, “We pride ourselves on our best-in-class customers, team, seafood category expertise, and resources—that is what has brough Chicken of the Sea to a leadership position in the industry. We have been operating in a volatile and changing market these last few years and that has helped us become even more closely connected with our customers to navigate strategically together through these changes.”
COSFF encapsulates its innovative leadership in the Think Big initiative. Its goal: to show customers even more support through unique capabilities that can help grow their business. With deep roots in global sustainability leadership, COSFF has also built an expert innovation team to complement Thai Union’s Global Innovation Center, and has the most developed QA network in the industry.
This solutions-based approach to seafood product development serves retailers as well as foodservice operators. Put our talented global team of seafood experts to work for your needs with product development (branded or private label), menu development, convenience, and labor-savings innovation aligned with consumer demand. Explore COSFF value-added seafood products, and learn more about custom solutions that help you think big to grow your business.