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Bumble Bee Looking For Growth Outside Core Segments United States, January 18, 13

Major U.S. tuna and seafood brand Bumble Bee is planning to grow within shelf stable range but also outside of its core categories, after a catastrophic year in the American canned segment that saw tuna sales and consumption decline by about 12%.
Backed by its private equity owner Lion Capital since 2010, the company is looking to develop new products for an undisclosed category that is outside of its core shelf stable business, Bumble Bee CEO Chris Lischewski told a seafood news website.
Last year, the company spent a record USD 10 million on research and development. It is expected to invest another large sum on product development and promotion in 2013.
Lischewski says they are going to be “disciplined” on mergers and acquisitions, and will instead look to drive the top line from “organic growth.”
In 2012, the U.S. Big Three brands – Bumble Bee, StarKist and Chicken of the Sea – faced challenges in aligning their price points with the hefty raw tuna material costs. American tuna consumption shrank by about 12% and this could have been affected by the higher retail costs, overall consumer dissatisfaction with product quality and concerns about alleged mercury health risks from eating tuna.