How did the Chicken of the Sea tuna get such a strange name?

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How did the Chicken of the Sea get such an outlandish name

How did the Chicken of the Sea get such an outlandish name? (1973)

From ads published nationwide in 1973

If you tried to think up a name for a brand of tuna, “Chicken of the Sea” probably wouldn’t head your list. After all, why name a seafood after a landfood?

True, tuna looks like the white meat of chicken and can be used, like chicken, in many deliciously different ways.

But that’s not how Chicken of the Sea got its name.

Chicken of the Sea tuna 1971

About that Chicken of the Sea name: Tuna off the starboard bow!

“Chicken of the sea!” is what tuna fishermen cry when they sight a school of albacore off the bow. Albacore provides white meat tuna, the choicest, most subtle and delicate of all.

When our founder decided to put tuna in cans, Chicken of the Sea became a brand of tuna.

Today, of course, Chicken of the Sea gives you white meat or light, solid or chunk style, packed in vegetable oil or water.

White meat and light meat, by the way, don’t come from different parts of the tuna (as with chicken), but from entirely different species.

Chicken of the Sea tuna name 1973

There’s another big difference too. As our cooks like to say, tuna doesn’t just swim into the can. That’s why they’re such taskmasters.

Chicken of the Sea naturally selects only the best tuna. But then, to make sure oily prime fillet goes into the can, all filleting is done by hand.

And, from years of experience, our cooks have a knack for seasoning — to achieve the subtle, delicate flavor you’ve come to expect from fine tuna. They’re probably fussier than necessary, too, about grading (solid or chunk), color and things like that.

Everything that happens in the Chicken of the Sea kitchens is aimed at giving you tuna as good as tuna can be.

And that’s how Chicken of the Sea got its name. America’s favorite name in tuna.


Jessica Simpson: Is Chicken of the Sea fish or chicken? (2003)


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