08 February 2017
Love Fish? LoveTheWild
Will you please share with us how LoveTheWild came to be?
Jacqueline and I started the company in 2014; with a mission to change the way Americans eat fish, as well as change the way they think about farmed fish. Research in the US shows that we don’t eat enough fish here (USDA recommends two 4-6 oz. portions per week, per person), and we believe that’s because people are intimidated by fish, including how to cook it, knowing what’s sustainable, knowing what’s healthy, and more. We wanted to take the guesswork out of fish, what to flavor it with, and what species to trust from a sustainability and health perspective. Fish is the most resource-efficient animal protein on the planet, and there are many reasons to eat more of it—global food security, human health, environmental sustainability, etc.—we wanted to provide a product that was a no-brainer way to get people to do just that.
LoveTheWild packages its product in boxes that are recyclable and your sauce trays are recyclable. Please tell us about when, how and why your company chose to move in this direction?
We have always used as much recyclable packaging as possible for our products, because sustainability is one of our core tenants as a company. We want to provide products to consumers that are good for you and good for the planet, so choosing recyclable packaging was essential for us.
LoveTheWild is also working to create a fish wrap that can be composted, what can you tell us about how that is going?
We are not chemical scientists, but we have been keeping an eye on new developments in plastics, in the hopes that sometime soon we’ll be able to use one of these plastic-alternatives to wrap our fish. There is an exciting new wrap being made out of the milk protein casein, which is sustainable and biodegradable. The film actually even blocks oxygen better than our traditional plastic wraps, making it an even better protector than plastic. Other forms of bio plastics that are being developed at a commercial scale are made of cassava root or brewery remnants (barley and wheat), so we’re looking at those as possible future plastic wrap alternatives, as well.
LoveTheWild has embraced aquaculture; please explain why you’ve made this choice for your consumers.
We believe that Aquaculture is the future of food, and we want to support the fish farmers around the world that are on the leading edge of best practices in fish farming. It’s our goal to help change people’s perceptions of farmed fish and tell the story of how sustainable, healthy, and delicious farmed fish can be. Aquaculture is a very important and necessary component of the seafood space, as our wild fish stocks are diminishing and our global seafood consumption is increasing. If we all embrace aquaculture on a larger scale, we can ensure that we’ll have wild fish on this planet forever.
LoveTheWild makes fish for dinner easy and accessible for consumers by packaging its fish with pre-packed sauces?
Yes, our seafood kits pair sustainably sourced, pure fish filets with regional, bold sauces designed to complement each species’ unique taste, texture and origin. Using a foolproof cooking method, anyone can prepare a delicious, home cooked meal in 25 minutes or less.
In your earliest days, what were some of the biggest challenges you had to overcome in determine just the right flavor profiles for your customers?
We have done a lot of consumer research on flavor trends and ingredients that people are gravitating towards. So those ideas help lead our initial thought processes, but the real work comes in when we look to our rock-star RCA-certified research chef, who helps us really develop the sauces to specifically pair with each fish. She’s an expert in flavor profiles, sauce chemistry, and recipe development, so we really lean on her to help get just the right pairings. In terms of challenges, we haven’t faced too many, but have had to do things like change our recipes a bit to help them freeze (we don’t use preservatives, so we have to find natural ingredients that help us achieve our goals), or replace a sauce because it just wasn’t working with customers. We take a fairly pragmatic approach to product development, and are flexible if we need to enact a change.
LoveTheWild co-founder Jacqueline Claudia will be serving on the Four Fish Times Forty Panel at the upcoming Seafood Expo North America in Boston. Will you share with us why you felt this was so important?
This panel is all about aquaculture and the stories of the farmers behind it. As a brand with an aquaculture focus, it is very important to us to be involved in these discussions so we can be a part of the story of aquaculture going forward, as well as be able to tell the stories of what’s happened in aquaculture in the past. Hopefully the panel will be able to demystify the aquaculture industry as a whole, as well as put faces to names of some of the top fish farmers in the world.