Review: Bumble Bee tuna kit

I  prefer to eat tuna with a splash of olive oil and lemon juice rather than with mayo,  so I was interested in Bumble Bee’s new “Protein on the Run” tuna in olive oil kits, released this past fall.

The kit – which retails at $3.99 but I found at $2.69  – is part of Bumble Bee’s higher end line of fish products. It includes 2.7 oz wild-caught tuna, good quality crackers, a fork-spoon and a caramel. I’ve tried the tuna with olive oil and lemon and also the tuna with olive oil and black pepper.

I’ve eaten the tuna three ways:

– spread on the accompanying crackers (which are sturdy, with no hydrogenated oils)

– mixed with some canned, drained cannellini beans

– on top of a large plate of greens, with  “croutons” made of crumbled crackers.

The tuna in olive oil and pepper is moist, has a luxurious texture and just the right amount of pepper. The tuna with olive oil and lemon has a biting lemon flavor; it overwhelms the fish. I did not try the third flavor, which is tuna in olive oil with jalapeño.

Bumblebee’s new Protein on the Run meal kit
Here’s what I think:

Feeling lazy but want to avoid a takeout lunch? This is a pleasant, no effort lunch. I’ve bought three kits of the olive oil and pepper version because I like it so much. I’m not sure whether I would pay the list price of $3.99, but I would buy it at $3 or less.

  • In addition to the three ways I’ve  eaten this tuna kit, I’m planning to  take one on our frequent road trips. If we have to stop at a restaurant with limited, unhealthy choices, I can order  a large green salad, put the tuna on top and have a no-fuss, frugal meal. The tuna packs 17 grams of protein in a serving – combined with olive oil,  that’s going to stave off hunger.
  • The tuna kit is low cholesterol and, if you skip the caramel, has only 10 grams of carb and 2.5 grams of saturated fat.

On the Other Hand…

  • About that caramel…caramel doesn’t go with tuna, a mouth-freshening mint goes with tuna. I love dessert, but I easily skip this candy, which adds saturated fat and sugar.
  • Despite the kit being marketed as “on the go,” the packaging is a little awkward. It is hard to spread the tuna on the crackers without a plate or a bowl, since there is no flat surface provided for the crackers.
  •  Those who strictly count calories or WW points may prefer a different lunch kit. I’m in the “good fats are healthy” camp and love the addition of olive oil because it makes the tuna more filling. But some may balk at a 290 calorie kit (without the caramel) that contains 18.5 grams of fat, even if most of that fat is a heart healthy oil.
  • Finally, salt watchers should note the kit has 390 grams of sodium (minus the caramel.)

To buy or not to buy?
If it sounds good, give it a try.

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