Not your traditional barbecue

For operators who still think barbecue is limited to beef, chicken or pork, it’s time to update your definition. Ditch the boring meat on a bun and open your mind to the endless possibilities—and sales opportunities—of today’s barbecue.

Barbecue’s spicy, sweet and savory flavors can pair perfectly with alternative proteins such as salmon, creating an opportunity for operators to offer customers a healthier, leaner—yet still delicious—option. It’s also versatile and easy to prepare and serve.

For example, used instead of typical proteins, High Liner Foods’ Pulled BBQ Salmon is an ideal fit for a menu items such as tacos, burritos, slider sandwiches and even pizza, says Jim Papadakis, brand manager with High Liner Foods. “Salmon is hot right now; barbecue is hot right now,” he says. “This is an excellent source of protein that appeals to meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike,” he adds.

Darren Tristano, vice president of Chicago research firm Technomic, agrees. “Salmon is differentiated and lends itself to sandwiches, tortillas, buns and flatbread,” he says. Salmon and barbecue sauce also go well together, he adds. “It’s how I eat salmon at home.”

Tristano also points out that despite its popularity in full service restaurants, salmon isn’t often menued in the fast-casual marketplace. But as the No. 1 selling fish in restaurants, and the most popular fish sold in the United States, salmon’s time has arrived for all markets.

Additionally, barbecue-inspired menu items are popping up in concepts of all types, from quick service and casual eateries to college & university foodservice and sports bars. The marriage of the two makes perfect sense. “This is going to fill a gap for those customers who buy it in full service but also want it in limited service,” Tristano says. 

High Liner Foods’ Pulled BBQ Salmon is available in a traditional tangy sauce as well as in a fiery-sweet Sriracha option. Free of preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup and full of omega-three fatty acids, the product is convenient to prepare; it comes fully cooked and pre-measured in a vacuum-packed pouch and is ready to heat and serve. 

It also offers a better price point, since customers—particularly millennials—are willing to spend slightly more for seafood. “With the right portion size, an operator will do well with it,” says Tristano.

The product also makes menuing innovative, barbecue-focused items easier than ever. Operators can use Pulled BBQ Salmon to create mouth-watering options such as a spicy pressed Cuban sandwich, Vietnamese spring rolls or a chopped salad topped with smoky barbecue salmon. Operators can also try it in sliders with fried pickles and apple slaw, or they can use it as a breakfast/brunch option with a fried egg wedged between a chunk of fresh cornbread.

And as sustainability becomes more important to savvy consumers, operators will appreciate that High Liner Foods’ Pulled BBQ Salmon is responsibly farmed and Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified, so customers can feel good about eating a delicious meal.

For more information on High Liner Foods' innovative product lines, visit www.highlinerfs.com.

This post is sponsored by High Liner Foods


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