SAN DIEGO, CA, August 16, 2004 — Bumble Bee, North America\’s leading canned seafood brand, announced today that two of its newest canned tuna products — introduced to American households beginning the third quarter of 2003 — each exceeded the 10 million mark for number of cans sold as of July 2004, affirming the popularity of the new items among consumers.
Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore and Bumble Bee Touch of Lemon were both launched nationally last year, which also marked the 100th anniversary of canned tuna in the United States.
According to Christopher D. Lischewski, Bumble Bee\’s president and chief executive officer, the two products represented innovation in their respective tuna categories. \”We felt it befitting to offer Bumble Bee Prime Fillet and Touch of Lemon, unique products addressing the key segments of albacore and chunk light tuna, during a milestone anniversary for the tuna industry,\” he said. \”It\’s exciting to see that consumers have been very responsive to our innovation, as evident in the 10-million-can sales achievement for both Prime Fillet and Touch of Lemon — and all within 12 months of each product\’s entry into the market.\”
Data collected by marketing research company ACNielsen indicates that Prime Fillet has captured a significant market share of the canned tuna category and ranks in the top 10 selling items in the canned solid white albacore segment.
Prime Fillet is a premium tuna product consisting of the highest grade of hand-selected solid white albacore and is packed only in water. The product is packaged in a high-gloss gold and black European-style, upside-down can, with lithographic printing directly on the can. It has been hailed for being an affordable, gourmet-style albacore as Americans increasingly look to superior quality tuna labels.
Touch of Lemon is a chunk light tuna with the addition of lemon juice. It is designed to appeal to avid tuna consumers, as well as those who may have avoided it because of perceptions concerning fishy taste and scent. Touch of Lemon is the only domestically available canned tuna to incorporate the taste of lemon. \”Canned light tuna comprises two-thirds of overall tuna sales. Before Touch of Lemon, there had been limited innovation and growth in the category for quite some time,\” Lischewski explained.
Bumble Bee will celebrate the record results for Prime Fillet and Touch of Lemon by honoring the 25th anniversary of America\’s Second Harvest, the nation\’s largest hunger-relief organization and with which the company has had a longstanding partnership. Bumble Bee is donating 10,000 cans each of Prime Fillet and Touch of Lemon tuna to America\’s Second Harvest, which will be presented at the organization\’s September 2004 National Conference. The conference and anniversary celebration will be held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Maryland Food Bank.
\”We are particularly delighted that Bumble Bee Seafoods is donating some of its most popular products,\” said Robert H. Forney, president and CEO of America\’s Second Harvest. \”The donation of this tuna will ensure that hungry clients, first in Maryland and then the rest of the nation will have the protein products they need to make healthy meals.\”
America\’s Second Harvest anti-hunger advocates, donors, and volunteers from around the country will team up at the new home of the Maryland Food Bank to make history in a one-of-a-kind service project. The 400 guests at the September conference will participate in setting a record for packing emergency food boxes that will comprise Bumble Bee canned tuna, vegetables and fruit, macaroni and cheese, soup, oatmeal, and rice. The food boxes will be delivered to agencies affiliated with the food bank.
Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC, headquartered in San Diego, is the U.S. operating subsidiary of Connors Bros. Income Fund (TSX:CBF.UN) — a limited purpose trust established under the laws of Ontario, Canada. Connors Bros. owns a majority interest in both Bumble Bee and Clover Leaf Seafoods, L.P., its Canadian operating subsidiary. Together, these two operating companies comprise North America\’s largest branded seafood company, offering a full line of canned tuna, salmon, sardine, and specialty seafood products marketed under leading brands including , Clover Leaf®, Brunswick® and Beach Cliff®.
The Bumble Bee brand has established significant consumer awareness and loyalty based on the superior quality of its seafood products. For more information on Bumble Bee, visit www.bumblebee.com.