Thai Union has launched its first range of seafood snacks: fried shrimp cheeks in a range of flavors.

Its halal Monori range is being marketed as a healthier alternative to many other snacks and comes in spicy and original flavors on the Thai and other southeast Asian markets. The item is packaged in 40-gram foil bags to compete with other snacks like fried potato chips.

Not strictly made from '"cheeks," the product utilizes what's left of the lower part of the shrimp's head once the brain and other innards are removed.

Thai Union has made no secret of the fact that diversification is a key part of its business plan as its core tuna business faces rock-bottom prices, declining demand and emerging competition.

Twenty-three startups joined Thai Union's food-tech incubator and accelerator program at Space-F, an initiative the tuna giant headed with the National Innovation Agency (NIA) and Mahidol University's Faculty of Science.

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