Why It’s Time to Reinvent the Fish Stick

In the age of disruptive food brands and overhauled ingredient lists that feature real, whole foods, finding convenient ways to get healthy fish protein into kids (and adults, for that matter) without breadings and added sugars has long remained a mystery. Sure, we’ve seen fish sticks ‘made over’ in the aisles of natural foods stores to incorporate gluten-free batters and breadings, but none have gone so far as to reinvent the basis of the same fish stick we’ve seen in frozen food aisles for the past 60 years. Until now.

But, do kids even like fish? Will they eat it if it isn’t a battered, fried conduit for ketchup?

For the past year, we’ve stood in the aisles of natural foods stores all over California, serving up samples of our fillets of wild Alaskan coho salmon, seasoned with lemon pepper and garlic - a healthy, sustainably sourced, and simple-to-cook option for people looking to incorporate more fish into their diets. We would often hear, “is this fish wild?” and “where does it come from?” to which we would respond “yes, it’s wild-caught Alaskan salmon” and “on the side of the package you can see exactly where and how your fish was caught!”

Now, those two questions we expected, as we knew that many shoppers are concerned about both of those pieces of information when it comes to buying fish (as we are ourselves!), and we put that information right on our packaging exactly for that reason. But here is what we didn’t expect - that just about every mom or dad pushing a shopping cart with a young child (or two) alongside them to remark, “Oh salmon! My kids LOVE salmon!” and happily share their sample with their kid, much to both parent and kid’s delight.

 

Light bulb.

So why, we asked ourselves, are there no healthy, convenient salmon products on the market for kids (and adults) that are as dippable and delicious as the fish stick that has been on dinner plates since the 1950s? And why isn’t anyone using “fish sticks” (or some form of them) as a conduit not just for tartar sauce and ketchup, but for educating kids about where their seafood comes from? It’s about time that changed.

 

As a team of female entrepreneurs who came together to drive change in an outdated seafood industry and to improve access to sustainable and traceable seafood, we knew this product was right down the heart of the plate for us. We got to work quickly, and through a collaborative effort with moms across the country, developed Salmon Bites for Kids - bite-sized finger foods packed with omega 3s, healthy protein, and hidden veggies that as it turns out, kids love to eat. Combining wild-caught Alaskan salmon, broccoli, and sweet potato makes a naturally gluten and dairy free, non-GMO, snack with no added sugars that fills kids up with clean ingredients that parents can’t get enough of. Not to mention, they’re as easy to toss in the oven as chicken nuggets, and adults love them too.

Salty Girl Seafood Salmon Bites for Kids

Salty Girl Seafood Salmon Bites for Kids

What’s more, all of the fish in our Salmon Bites is sourced with the same sustainability and traceability standards our company has become known for and that you, as a consumer, deserve. That means that we tell you where and how your fish was caught right on the box, providing a great way to educate our youngest consumers about where their seafood comes from. No more mystery fish. Half the number of ingredients of standard fish sticks. And all of the benefits of teaching your kids about where their food comes from.

We believe this is just the beginning of disrupting this age-old category and with new, fun ways of getting healthy fish protein and omega-3s into kids.

It’s high time we started our kids off on the right foot with high quality seafood where the value-add actually serves to fuel their growing bodies and brains. And with a healthy start to their seafood experience and an early connection to where their food comes from, we’re launching a generation of American kids who will not only eat more fish, but feel empowered to make good decisions about where they get it!

Salmon Bites for Kids will hit shelves this July! Check out our Where to Buy page for more information about where to find Salty Girl Seafood and sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when we are coming to a store near you!