Clover Leaf's new tuna steaks: great packaging, fishy product

It may not happen often, but every once in a while, I decide to try something new when it comes to food (ok, not just food).  Heather jokes that I'm a creature of habit and as I get older I think she may be right.  But I like what I like, you know?  If something works, why change it or do something different, especially when it comes to food? I took a break from my work this afternoon and went for a stroll to our neighbourhood Sobeys.  On my shopping list: bread, tuna, red peppers, cucumber, sardines and avocado... I guess that part isn't really relevant to the story, except for the part where I needed tuna and therefore ended up in the canned tuna aisle. While looking over my options, the very tasty looking package caught my eye: Clover Leaf's new (nouveau!) Yellowfin Tuna Steak.  The packaging folks did a great job, it looks darn good don't you agree?  I love Tuna Steak, it's one of my favourite dishes at Big Daddy's (a local Toronto restaurant, specializing in Cajun cuisine). Unfortunately for the adventurer in me, the fine folks at Clover Leaf reinforced my unconscious brain's reasons for NOT trying new things.  The "tuna steak" was nothing more than a thin slice of tuna drenched in the mess you see here (click for a larger image if you dare):

Compare the packaging below with my real life photo above... is there any resemblance?  I don't think so.  How can this type of product misrepresentation even be legal in this country?  I opened the package and as it instructed: "slide contents onto microwaveable plate" a torrent of oily juices exploded onto my plate and all over the counter.  What a mess! Presentation aside, it was near impossible to eat.  Have you ever opened a can of tuna and tried eating it plain?  It's really dry, right?  Imagine that, but lemon flavoured.  In its essence, that's all this product is: an overpriced can of tuna, formed into a "steak" and stuck in a bag.  The April 2009 expiry date should have been a clue.  But I trusted Clover Leaf to produce a quality product. It was so dry I had to keep chasing each bite with a healthy gulp of water to avoid that "pill stuck in your throat" feeling. The worst part?  If you look at the Clover Leaf website, this garbage they're passing off as food claimed top prize for the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix New Product Award! What does that say about other products in the category?  Does the Grand Prix worry about how this reflects on their own brand?  I refuse to believe that my standards are so high. Clover Leaf, if you're listening, consider this a $2.99 win for your product marketing and packaging team, at the expense of a loyal customer.  I will never buy your products again and I will make it my personal mission to alert everybody I know about your lack of concern when it comes to producing a quality product.


18 responses
you might want to submit it to this site - seems like a common practice... arg!

I love tuna: the kind that comes in cans, sushi grade and delicious tuna steaks. Yes, I know I eat far too much tuna but that's another story.

I agree Clover Leaf's packaging on the tuna steaks you bought is extremely misleading. Thanks for sharing your photo - the tuna "steak" looks disgusting and wholly unappetizing.

As a rule, I steer clear from any packaged tuna other than the white canned stuff packed in water. Good tuna like the kind you order at Big Daddy's is expensive. I don't know why Clover Leaf would try to pawn off the inferior stuff as something more for $2.99.

I always thought that the package and the product inside looked like catfood!
I suggest you try it again. I haven't tried the lemon pepper, but the curry and thai were tasty. While this is a tuna steak, don't expect restarant grade. Come on people - this is just meant to be a step up from your average canned tuna, and it does it reasonably well.

As for thickness, like regular steaks it varies. And BEN, it is a foil pack and you can feel the damn thing - uh, hello!!!!!!

Well, I just tried the curry tuna and you know it wasn't all that bad. The sauce was not too overpowering and I would buy it again for a change of pace. Although when I picked the package, the first one felt mushy and I checked out other packages until I felt a good firm one.
man, you are sorely mistaken. next time, try the mild curry. it is amazing! that, or the thai herb are marvellous. it might crumble as you put it on a plate, but who cares? theres plenty of sauce/marinade to keep it company.

i really think you try it just once more, and THEN decide if you really dont like it. its well worth a second shot for the price!

i am eating the lemon pepper tuna steak right now and actually found your site because i came on the internet to google it, thinking i had to confirm my suspicions about it being laden with some strange chemical, and thus confirm my skepticisms about this product being too good to be true. granted, i'm sure that my inability to find some garish horror story about the preservatives in this product doesn't guarantee there aren't any in it, and certainly no less than the next packaged product. but a packaged meal that took 30 seconds to prepare in the microwave, and which I actually found to be of notable enough quality to come on the internet and google, is worth the 2.99 in my books.
I, too, arrived here after googling the tuna steaks. I just had the thaï one and really liked it. It has just enough heat to make it interesting, but really not that much at all. The list of ingredients is great (from memory): tuna, lime leaves, galangal, coconut milk, ginger, garlic... all normal things :-) This tuna steak really perked up my lunch of vegetable stirfry and rice, and I'll make sure I keep a supply (maybe not of the lemon one, though) in my office for those 'I don't feel like bringing a lunch' days.
Thanks for the feedback Louise. I did hear back from Clover Leaf about a month after this post and they admitted to having some "quality" problems they were addressing. I imagine that by now, their "reformulated" tuna steak product is on the shelves.
It's a great boil-in-the-bag for back-country canoe trips. I make it with PC Splendido Risotto.
I totally DISAGREE. I LOVE LOVE that Curry one and the thai and lemon pepper are darn good too. Mine came out just like the picture, even with the thai right down to the red pepper on top. You must have got one that someone in the store decided to squish up or mangle somehow. Also they have helped me lose 10 lbs so far. Try the curry one, mmmmm I am addicted to it!
Heya Tracey. I heard back from Clover Leaf some time ago and they admitted to some "quality issues" with the product, both from a consistency and a taste perspective. I haven't had a chance to buy the "new and improved" versions though.

Glad to hear they've improved.

I just tried this, and I really enjoyed it. It was $2.00 from the local Walmart, and I was really impressed. Folks on or near the coasts may not realize that getting 3-4 servings of sea food is nigh impossible in the rest of the country. Sea food is not abundant, and the fish we get is not even close to sustainable.

When I read :"I will never buy your products again and I will make it my personal mission to alert everybody I know about your lack of concern when it comes to producing a quality product." Seriously? How childish is this comment? How jilted could you possibly be from a $2.99 offering.

And to dump it on a plate and say it doesn't look like advertised? For starters, I could go to any restaurant, and if I dump something haphazardly on a plate, it'll look like crap.

Also, when a company contacts you, which I just noticed from one of your comments, you append the main article with an UPDATE. I shouldn't have to read every comment to find out. You are quite literally what people point to when they say that blogging is ruining publication media. Your site looks professional, but you're obviously so amateur.

You're an idiot. For $2-$3 bucks, it's the best thing any American food manufacturer has come out with in years. So what if your tuna steak broke up in the package, many or most of my pieces come intact. But no one cares about that except you!

Bottom line: great nutrition, excellent taste at a low price. Thank goodness the folks are Cloverleaf are thinking (someone has to).


Wow! Ryan Thomspon's & Tony's responses are pretty scathing. I mean seriously can buy a can of cat food for 65 cents and obtain ..."great nutrition, excellent taste at a low price" by some peoples standard but it freakin' cat food!

And Ryan, where can I find "The Ultimate Guide on Blogging"....I mean I would hate to author a post and have to worry about offending you for not following some sort of Blog Procedure.

I won't debase myself to name calling but holy crap consumers don't you want the product you purchase to have at least a remote semblance of the picture on the package????


Interesting comments about the tuna but nobody has mentioned what kind of tuna it is. Looks like skip jack a very cheap tuna which is brown and amomng their other products I see a can saying white tuna. What is that as I export tuna never come across a white one yet?
Man this tuna steak is amazing. Put it on top of rice and what ever else you want to include ie. veggies, etc. You get a damn tasty and cheap meal. I've purchased this on sale for $1.50 each. Don't expect it to look like a $20 steak. I expect it to look like solid tuna.
I'm a canoe tripper, and this product is amazing. I heat up the tuna in the package in a pot of boiling water over a fire or camp stove, then slide it out onto my plate. Its an incredible treat 10 days or so into a trip - sure beats freeze dried! Its a great product, and I've bought it on sale many times for 1.99. Whether I'm canoeing or not, this is a tasty, healthy product.. I'll bet Lucier wouldn't survive the wilderness, let alone not having access to over priced prissy restaurant food.