kw birdseye packaging lines 200x134The frozen food industry began in 1930 when Clarence Birdseye introduced a line of frozen foods to the world. The line included meat, spinach, the ubiquitous pea, fruit and berries, Blue Point oysters and... fish fillets. Getting the line into stores was met with resistance from retailers who were reluctant to invest in refrigerated display cases. Consumers were skeptical, and many lacked freezers -- if they even had power at the time.

World War II brought new challenges for food producers, as the US government clamped down on use of metals for anything but the war effort. Canned foods were still produced, but were shipped overseas to the troops. Paperboard, waxed paper and cellophane became the packaging materials of choice, and freezing became the predominant food preservation method. Kliklok's roots are in the bakeries, but our versatile packaging machinery was an obvious choice for frozen food producers suddenly faced with a rapidly expanding industry.

kw birdseye packaging ad 150x159The "fish finger" or "fish stick" had been around quite a while, but the frozen, breaded, ready-to-cook fish finger was first commercialized in 1953 by Gorton-Pew Fisheries, now known as Gorton's. Birdseye, which had been freezing fish fillets for years, also developed their own line. As freezing (and home freezers) grew in popularity and availability, the number of fisheries producing frozen fish products of all kinds grew in leaps and bounds. Today, the majority of frozen seafood products are made by significantly fewer manufacturers, but the rich and varied history of the industry deserves a look back...