LoveTheWild makes sustainable frozen seafood that comes with sauce and parchment paper for cooking. Courtesy LoveTheWild.

LoveTheWild evolving with help from Chobani

BOULDER — LoveTheWild, a company that makes sustainable frozen seafood meals, is hoping to learn from one of the top companies when it comes to natural food.

LoveTheWild was one of seven companies selected to participate in Chobani’s natural-food incubator, which spans from September to December.

“It was a no-brainer really,” said co-founder and chief executive Jacqueline Claudia about applying to the program. “We’re huge admirers of Chobani. To have a chance to learn under their mentorship, and with their unique industry knowledge and resources help us understand where we need to grow, you can’t turn that down.”

Claudia said she started LoveTheWild after noticing a lack of fish in diets.

Claudia worked in aquaculture, growing sustainable fish, but said she got frustrated when she was seeing how most Americans don’t eat seafood. She said only one out of 10 people meet USDA recommendations for fish.

“Why is it that we have this great, nutritious, ecologically responsible product and no one eats it?” she said. “There must be other barriers, where families never ate fish and so people didn’t grow up with the love of fish or comfort level of cooking fish. Or there are scary headlines about over-fishing and seafood fraud.”

Claudia said she decided to use her backgrounding in understanding fish and sustainability to make it more accessible and easy to cook.

LoveThe Wild has several main products: variations of fish with parchment and sauces (the latter two both come in the shapes of hearts, no less). Products include red trout with salsa verde and barramundi with mango sriracha chutney, among others.

The 3-year-old company has gone through some subtle variations. The company knew it wanted to have frozen products, to minimize food waste. Sauce cubes were initially in a compostable pouch.

“It was like a bag of skittles,” Claudia joked. “It was great for packaging, but what happened was people would stop after going to the store to pick of their kids or run more errands, and our adorable heart-shaped cubes would melt and turn the whole thing into a ketchup packet. So we evolved to a tray to give the sauce more stability.”

Now, through the Chobani incubator, LoveTheWild is looking to continue to evolve.

“We started the company in Boulder, partly because we live here, but also we felt if we wanted to unlock the potential in farmed seafood, we had a lot of people to learn from,” Claudia said. “Like Justin’s, who showed you should pay $10 for peanut butter and Dale Katechis at Oskar Blues, who chose a can instead of a bottle. There were people breaking rules and having novel consumer approaches, and we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. If we look ahead, we bit off a huge challenge. There’s an opportunity to mentor with the Chobani team and grow the company in the right way. They showed you can have a delicious, affordable product and a good company with a tremendous impact on the community.”

She added that she is looking forward to getting the management team out of the day-to-day fray for four days a month to focus on big questions and big-picture ideas.

“Sometimes you don’t have time to work on the business because you’re working in the business,” she said.

So far, however, that dedication to growing LoveTheWild has been paying off. Products are available locally and nationwide at stores such as Whole Foods, Lucky’s, Alfalfa’s and, in a few weeks, King Soopers.

“We’re in about 600 stores now,” she said. “In a few months, we’ll be in a few thousand.”

 

BOULDER — LoveTheWild, a company that makes sustainable frozen seafood meals, is hoping to learn from one of the top companies when it comes to natural food.

LoveTheWild was one of seven companies selected to participate in Chobani’s natural-food incubator, which spans from September to December.

“It was a no-brainer really,” said co-founder and chief executive Jacqueline Claudia about applying to the program. “We’re huge admirers of Chobani. To have a chance to learn under their mentorship, and with their unique industry knowledge and resources help us understand where we need to grow, you can’t turn that down.”

Claudia said she started LoveTheWild after noticing a lack of fish in diets.

Claudia worked in aquaculture, growing sustainable fish, but said she got frustrated when she was seeing how most Americans don’t eat seafood. She said only one out of 10 people meet USDA recommendations for fish.

“Why is it that we have this great, nutritious, ecologically responsible product and no one eats it?” she said. “There must be other barriers, where families never ate fish and so people didn’t grow up with the love of fish or comfort level of cooking fish. Or there are scary headlines about over-fishing and seafood fraud.”

Claudia said she decided to use her backgrounding in understanding fish and sustainability to make it more accessible and easy to cook.

LoveThe Wild has several main products: variations of fish with parchment and sauces (the latter two both come in the shapes of hearts, no less). Products include red…