When Heisman Trophy winner and prolific two-sport professional athlete, Vincent Bo Jackson decided to expand Bo Jackson Signature Foods, and create an exciting seafood value-added productline, he knew choosing a company offering exceptional proteins with full-service product development capabilities was critical to his success. Jackson ultimately partnered with industry leader, Bonamar Corporation. The collaboration between the two resulted in Bo Jackson Signature Sideliners, a collection of appetizer seafood sliders and entrée seafood burgers that were launched in October to rave reviews. I met with Bo to learn more about his product development process.
Having dedicated a large part of his life to charitable causes, I had a feeling there was a great story behind the new venture, and was anxious to learn what motivated his Signature Sideliners. When asked what inspired his new product line, Jackson stated, “I’ve always had a passion for food. My fascination began as a young boy while watching my mother cook every day from the kitchen sidelines. She had 10 children and worked two jobs. I wanted to develop high-quality products busy parents could rely on, and at a price-point that is easy on the wallet. If you buy our seafood burgers; they taste just like you ate them at a restaurant. The quality is just that good”.
I sat down to try Bo’s favorite burger. He said that all the products have an incredible flavor profile, but the shrimp burger was his favorite because it was a labor of love. “Bonamar’s ideation and production team, as well as my office, went back-and-forth numerous times to get the recipe just right. We wanted to present our best the first time; just like I did in sports. Every time I went up to bat or got the football, I wanted to give the fans what they wanted to see, the very best that I could give them, and with my company that is no different,” Jackson explained.
I quickly learned that Bo Jackson has that dedication and drive you only see from the ultra-successful. He’s taken that devotion we all saw on the football field, and has applied it to every project he’s been a part of. From his work with pediatric cancer patients, to helping at-risk youth, Jackson’s commitment to his business and developing high-end, quality products is equally inspirational. “I didn't start Bo Jackson Signature Foods to make a buck; which I have said over and over, I started Bo Jackson Signature Foods because I wanted to share with the world something my mother taught me to love, which is great food,” Jackson continued.
Selecting a food product development company can make or break any project. When asked why he chose Bonamar, Jackson recalled, “It was important for me to work with a company that was fully integrated. I needed a one-stop-shop. A business that could work with me to develop custom flavor profile recipes, offered cost-formula technology, provided thorough brand development and had a successful track record in distribution”. Another key factor in Jackson’s decision to partner with Bonamar is that they share fundamental business principles. Jackson stated, “They have a really great team that gives 100%, and that sealed the deal. We are all like-minded. We strive to be true to our core values and work really hard to make a great product at a good price and never forget that if we don't treat every customer as our first customer, they will be our last customer”. Bo Jackson’s Signature Sideliners have hit the market and are currently sold to both restaurants and retail outlets.
The partnership between Bo Jackson Signature Foods and Bonamar is a testament to product development success. An unwavering commitment to core values and providing superior products is always a winning combination.