Frozen fish package is bait for consumers

Newport, KY-based StarKist Seafood, internationally known for its canned tuna, is entering a whole new category with its Seaside Gourmet(TM) premium-cut, frozen fish fillets.

StarKist is counting on packaging to attract consumer attention and help make this fledgling fish product fly.

"StarKist has been exploring frozen concepts and products in various forms for a number of years as a way of extending and leveraging the brand's equity," says Laura Wolfram, communications administrator for StarKist Seafood Co. "The Seaside Gourmet packaging was tested with consumers and selected from over a dozen designs because it presented the product with an upscale, fresh appearance versus the paper boxes frequently used to package frozen fish." Package design is the work of Lipson-Alport-Glass & Associates (Cincinnati, OH).

The 16-oz portion of uncooked fish is first vacuum-packed. The forming web is an 8-mil linear low-density polyethylene/nylon structure. Lidding is similar, but thinner at 5 mils. Both films are supplied by Curwood (New London, WI).

Vacuum-packed fillets next go into a charcoal-gray tray of foamed expanded polystyrene and are shrink-wrapped in a 74-ga D-955 film, from Cryovac (Duncan, SC). After the heat tunnel, operators apply a paperboard sleeve by hand. Brightly printed in six colors on an offset press, the 16-pt SBS sleeve is supplied by Field Container (Elk Grove Village, IL).

StarKist Seaside Gourmet sells for $5.99 to $6.99 and is currently being tested in Pittsburgh, San Antonio and Buffalo, NY.

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