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Bumble Bee Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Canned Tuna with New Gold Standard Prime Fillet

America's Favorite Albacore Brand Pays Tribute to Canned Tuna's 100th Birthday, Offers Consumers Affordable Domestic Gourmet Choice!


SAN DIEGO, CA, October 9, 2003 – Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, the new gold standard in canned tuna, has expanded its distribution to supermarkets across the country in celebration of the industry\’s 100th anniversary. Canned tuna\’s new gold label, introduced earlier this year in markets along the East Coast, is now available to consumers throughout the country as a tribute to 100 years of an American household favorite. And already the product is hailed as the gourmet-style, affordable tuna that will encourage more domestic consumption over popular international labels.


Produced by Bumble Bee Seafoods, North America\’s leading canned seafood provider and number one canned albacore producer, Prime Fillet is a superior tuna product consisting of the finest grade of hand-selected solid white albacore packed only in water.


Prime Fillet, which initially was tested in markets along the East Coast from Maine to Florida, is now available to consumers in supermarkets throughout the United States.


\”We wanted to introduce an exceptional quality product during the 100th anniversary year of our industry. So, we began this process in early 2003 with a regional introduction of Prime Fillet on the East Coast where there is generally higher albacore consumption,\” said Christopher D. Lischewski, president and CEO of Bumble Bee Seafoods. \”The response was fantastic and feedback showed us that East Coast consumers loved Prime Fillet. When demand increased, including from consumers residing in other regions, we opted to celebrate the industry\’s 100th birthday by making our gold-level product available throughout the country this year.\”


He continued, \”Within the first four months of being introduced on the East Coast, Prime Fillet has grown to a four percent share of overall solid white albacore sales.\”


Lischewski is optimistic of acceptance in new, expanded markets. \”We are confident that consumers across America will be receptive to Bumble Bee Prime Fillet because it\’s such a high-quality, gourmet canned tuna – a concept that\’s regaining popularity here – which also is affordable. International labels have been very popular in the U.S., but they can cost $10 a can or more. With Prime Fillet, consumers have a reasonably priced, domestic choice and the chance to more frequently enjoy premium, gourmet-style canned tuna.\”


He added, \”Consumers are inclined toward nutritious, high-quality alternatives to convenience foods and Bumble Bee Prime Fillet meets this need. Its superior quality and taste means it can be enjoyed without adding high-calorie mixing ingredients.\”


Bumble Bee Prime Fillet is rich in protein, providing many of the same health benefits as fresh fish. With only 70 calories per serving, the product also is high in Vitamin B.


According to Lischewski, the product is unparalleled in the market. \”There are various tuna products that are labeled \’packed in water,\’ but in actuality they contain a combination of water and vegetable broth as a flavor enhancer. Because Bumble Bee Prime Fillet contains only the finest grade of albacore, water and a little salt, it doesn\’t need to be flavored with vegetable broth. With the absence of vegetable broth, consumers are assured of more tuna packed into every can.\” Bumble Bee Prime Fillet is packaged in a unique high-gloss gold and black can that helps to differentiate it on supermarket shelves. \”We purposely adopted the European-style can, which is actually upside down, with lithographic printing directly on the can, not a wrapped label,\” Lischewski noted. \”This style of packaging supports the product\’s \’premium gold\’ quality and positioning. In a sense, it also denotes how Bumble Bee is turning the tuna industry upside down to the benefit of the consumer.\”


Bumble Bee Prime Fillet is available in most supermarkets nationwide. Suggested retail price is $1.99 per six-ounce can.





Recipe by Chef de Cuisine Fabrice Poigin, Bertrand at Mister A\’s, San Diego, CA.


This simple and flavorful pasta dish with a Mediterranean flair is ideal for the holidays, whether sitting down to dinner with the family or celebrating with guests. Chef Fabrice suggests complementing this with a glass of 2001 Spottswood Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc!

Serves 4.


½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

4 oz unsalted butter

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 vine ripe tomato, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

A sprig of rosemary

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup dry white wine

1 small jar of Spanish olives (green olives stuffed with pimientos), drained

2 – 6 oz cans of Prime Fillet TM Solid White Albacore, drained

½ lb rigatoni pasta

1 tbsp thinly sliced chives

Dry aged parmesan, grated

Pinch of crushed red hot pepper flakes (optional)


1. Bring water to boil in a large pot in preparation for cooking the pasta.

2. Heat 2/3 of the olive oil and 4 oz of unsalted butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until nearly hot but not smoking. Add diced onions and cook for approximately 5 minutes until soft.

3. Add diced red bell peppers, reducing to low-medium heat and cook until peppers are soft.

4. Add diced tomato, minced garlic and 1/3 teaspoon of rosemary sprig leaves. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes.

5. Add ½ cup of dry white wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Then, add drained whole olives and Bumble Bee Prime Fillet tuna in solid pieces to sautéed mixture. Cover and cook until tuna is heated through (approximately 3-5 minutes).

6. Cook the rigatoni pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions or until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, leaving behind a little moisture.

7. Toss the pasta, tuna sauce and water, then place in a serving dish or on individual plates. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top and garnish with thinly sliced chives and grated dry aged parmesan. Top with a pinch of crushed red hot pepper flakes, if you prefer a little more bite.



Bumble Bee Seafoods, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, is the leading full-line branded canned seafood company in North America. Bumble Bee\’s brands have established significant consumer awareness and loyalty based on the superior quality of seafood products. For more information on Bumble Bee, visit www.bumblebee.com

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