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Fish Wife: Transforming Tinned Seafood into a Culinary Delight

fish wifeIn the 16th century, the term “Fish wife” had a humble origin, referring to the daughters or wives of fishermen selling fish at the market. Over time, it transformed into a gendered insult for bold, foul-mouthed women. Fast forward to 2020, Becca Millstein reclaimed this term, co-founding Fish Wife, a tinned seafood company, with the aim of bringing ethically-sourced, premium, and delicious tinned seafood to every pantry.

Fish Wife and The Rise of Tinned Seafood

The canned seafood industry in the United States is experiencing a renaissance, moving beyond traditional tuna sandwiches. The surge in popularity began during the pandemic as Americans explored cooking with cupboard staples. Social media influencers played a significant role in promoting the benefits of high-quality tinned seafood, contributing to the industry’s growth.

According to market research firm Circana, U.S. canned seafood industry dollar sales have seen remarkable growth, soaring from $2.3 billion in 2018 to over $2.7 billion in recent years. Becca Millstein, inspired by her experience during quarantine, founded Fish Wife in 2020 to address the lack of appealing options in local grocery stores.

Fish Wife: Mission and Offerings

FishWife focuses on transforming the canned fish industry by offering more than just the typical tuna fish sandwiches. Becca Millstein’s commitment to sustainability and ethical farming practices is reflected in the brand’s partnerships with responsibly managed fisheries and aquaculture farms.

The company’s products, priced between $7.99 and $10.99 per tin, are positioned as delicacies suitable for serving over rice bowls, on charcuterie boards, or in salads. Fishwife’s diverse range includes smoked salmon brined in salt, garlic salt, and brown sugar, as well as anchovies packed with premium Spanish extra virgin olive oil. The smoked albacore tuna is sourced from the Pacific Northwest using environmentally conscious fishing methods.

Success and Growth

Since its inception, Fish Wife has experienced significant growth, with sales increasing by 250% from 2021 to 2022. In 2023, the company is poised for another impressive leap of around 150%. While specific dollar figures remain undisclosed, these numbers underscore the company’s success in capturing the market’s attention.

Challenges and Resilience

Navigating the challenges of the pandemic, Becca Millstein had to remain agile in her business approach. A setback in 2021, where a supplier failed to deliver smoked trout, was turned around by leveraging a relationship with another cannery just in time for the holiday season.

Advice and Impact

Becca Millstein emphasizes the importance of leveraging celebrity and influencer platforms as tools to propel businesses forward. Through vibrant packaging, partnerships, and supply chain transparency, Fish Wife aims to communicate its commitment to quality and sustainability. As the tinned fish trend continues to grow, Fish Wife stands at the forefront, challenging perceptions and offering a delectable, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional proteins.

Fish Wife, led by Becca Millstein, is not just a tinned seafood company; it’s a movement redefining how we perceive and consume tinned fish. With a commitment to ethical sourcing, premium quality, and innovative flavors, Fishwife is setting the stage for a new era in the canned seafood industry. As Becca Millstein continues to scale her business, Fish Wife is undoubtedly making waves that go beyond the shores of traditional canned fish expectations.

My Take on Fish Wife

I eat a fair amount of fish and I love tinned sardines, albacore, mackeral and others. When I have a Caesar’s Salad, I always order extra anchovies. I like smoked fish too. Smoked bluefish, king mackeral and mullet are my favorites – I smoke them at home. I’d like to try this product and I probably will order some on Amazon next time I’m food shopping on there.

Do Sharks Eat Tinned Fish?

One thing Becca has going for her is sales. They’ve been increasing exponentially since 2020. While there aren’t dollar figures to go along with the percentage growth, I’m sure sales will be enough to interest a Shark or two.

Mark and Lori will likely pass since they’re into the vegan lifestyle. Candace Nelson could make an offer as she likes strong, female entrepreneurs. The same goes for Mr. Wonderful. watch for a royalty offer from him and some sort of lecture on the fineries of tinned fish. I’m not sure where Daymond will be on this one, but I expect offers from Candace and Kevin.

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob and more.

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