Lobster was the first product with which Pittman Seafoods entered the market in 1990. At the time it was also the main product in terms of revenue. Over the years, we have gained considerable expertise and expanded our product range. Apart from the popsicle lobster, we now also offer a range of lobster meat and Pittman Chez Vous-UHP lobster.
Pittman Seafoods purchasers visit the Canadian lobster producers every spring (in May or June, at the start of the lobster season). This year Quality Manager Tom Robbens and CEO Joke Vandepitte went to visit the producers again at the end of September.
A lobster has a larger crusher claw and a smaller pincer or cutter claw. It uses the larger claw to crush its prey and the smaller claw for cutting it into small pieces. The slow growth of lobsters, at a rate of only 100 grams a year, means that an adult animal weighs between 0.5 and 2 kgs. In addition, lobsters have cannibalistic tendencies and do not tolerate other lobsters in the vicinity. This is why the cultivation of lobsters is almost impossible.
Lobster is a very sustainable item in our product range and is therefore MSC certified. There are many regulations for lobster fishing. For instance, the area is subdivided into catch zones, the fishermen are monitored and they are bound by mandatory maximum fishing levels within a specific zone, for a specified period of time and for a limited number of lobster traps (which are also subject to regulation). Also, lobsters must have a minimum size and female, egg-bearing lobsters must be immediately returned to the ocean.
What is popsicle lobster?
A popsicle lobster is a cooked lobster, put in a bag filled with salted water and then frozen quickly in a blast freezer. This successful method of packaging is the result of a test done at someone’s home. A member of the public put a cooked lobster in a tetra brik filled with salted water and placed it in the freezer. This year we are very proud to launch our own Pittman popsicle packaging!
Lobster is divided in two categories:
- Canners: size 275 g to 450 g
- Markets: size 450 g to 650 g
The stylish black packaging gives an extra festive touch to this delicious product. Pittman Seafoods has made a conscious choice, for the sake of clarity, to print the packaging in the national language of the customer. Today we have packages in German and Italian. It is of course possible to further develop other languages.
The production process
We would like to take you on a brief tour of the production process:
First the lobsters are cooked. They are then ready to be rapidly cooled. The salt content is carefully monitored.
Prior to packaging, each lobster is checked for the correct weight. The cooked lobster is packed in a bag, which is then filled with mineral water. Tom Robbens, Quality Manager at Pittman Seafoods, performs a check.
Right, ready to be frozen!
Joke Vandepitte is a satisfied CEO.
Lobsters: did you know …
… that it is easy to tell the difference between a male and a female lobster?
The female has a broader tail (to accommodate the roe)
The male has bony legs (used to fertilize the female).
… that very occasionally ‘special’ lobsters are caught?
Examples are this blue-coloured lobster or the lobster with a tiger pattern. Or this giant lobster.
We were treated to the beautiful Canadian nature on Prince Edward Island, such as this typical red-earth landscape with a beautiful sunrise.