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Former StarKist Staff Building New Tuna Business For Contessa United States, February 6, 13

About ten former StarKist executives have joined Don Binotto, who is now the CEO of the US shrimp company Contessa. Before joining Contessa, Binotto was the CEO of StarKist tuna.

Don Binotto, current CEO of Contessa
Contessa is currently focused on developing a canned tuna foodservice business, which should create future growth for the company that has an annual revenue of close to USD 100 million. Many key employees have left StarKist since the Korean company Dongwon took over the top management.

In talking to the seafood website Undercurrent News Binotto said: “We’re growing the foodservice side and we’ve got a branded, niche offering coming up that we’re very excited about. It’s something that is so simple, when it comes out, you will be like, ‘how has no-one thought of that before?’”.

Binotto did not want to reveal any details on the deal which is being signed at the moment.

“I think we have a team that is one of the best in the world on buying and marketing tuna. Our group has over 100 years of tuna experience between procurement, marketing, sales and myself. It is only natural we compliment our shrimp line with this product,” Binotto told Undercurrent News.

Under the Contessa label, currently foodservice canned and pouch tuna are being sold, offering the species skipjack, tongol and albacore.

“The plan is to look for niches and not to play in the branded mainstream dominated by StarKist, Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea” he said. Binotto claims that his company will be offering a quality level far higher than what is currently being offered in the market. Based on this information it would be a logical move for Contessa to start offering canned tuna without the use of additives such a HP and VB, which has deteriorated US quality of the last 2 decades, also in food service sizes.

Binotto explained that the company would source from Vietnam and Thailand, but also India and Indonesia, as well as Ecuador.