San Diego-based canned tuna company Bumble Bee Seafoods has announced its entry into the premium prepared foods market with new Prime Fillet Albacore Steaks.

The company said its new ready-to-heat tuna steaks respond to growing convenience trends and will be packaged in easy-open, vacuum-sealed pouches. The tuna steaks will be available in three varieties: Lemon & Pepper, Mesquite Grilled, and Ginger & Soy.

"Among the various food trends that experts are predicting for 2005, convenience still dominates. Ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat products are items that will meet with consumer appeal given the progressively hectic lifestyles we're adopting," Bumble Bee president and chief executive officer Christopher Lischewski said.

Lischewski also said the steaks are aimed at extending tuna consumption into the 'dinner' category: "More than 50% of canned tuna consumption today is in the form of a sandwich, with another 20% consumed as tuna salad."

The ready-to-heat steaks will become available in supermarkets nationwide by January 2005.