Companies and Brands

Avoid All Tuna Brands, Except These 9

Canned tuna fish in bowl
Amarita /

According to NOAA, tuna is the second most popular seafood in the United States, trailing only shrimp. By some estimates, tuna is the most consumed fish in the world.

Two main products sit atop the world tuna market: canned tuna and sashimi/sushi. Canned tuna is the most popular tuna product in the U.S. by a wide margin, so it was the exclusive focus of our survey.

The biggest knock against canned tuna is that it can contain high levels of mercury. Mercury is a heavy metal that is present in some fish due to water contamination. According to Healthline, larger tuna species, such as bigeye and albacore, tend to feature higher levels of mercury. Smaller species like skipjack often have lower levels of mercury.

However, for most adults, this does not mean that tuna should be eliminated from their diets. When eaten in moderation, the health benefits of tuna are many.

Canned tuna is an inexpensive source of protein. It is low in calories and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna also provides essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, potassium, selenium, and iodine.

Along with being highly nutritious, canned tuna is also one of the most convenient protein sources on the market. If it is stored in a cool, dark place, it will remain shelf-stable for years.

Which Tuna Brand Tastes Best?

Young woman in a supermarket holding a tuna can
Source: Kmpzzz /
It’s not easy to find the best-tasting tuna on crowded grocery store shelves.

There are lots of different brands of canned tuna. Some are quite well-known, while others are more obscure. When you find yourself scanning the shelves of canned tuna at the grocery store, it can be tempting to purchase a brand just because of its name recognition. However, that isn’t necessarily the way to find the best-tasting tuna. That’s why we wanted to find the very best tuna brands on supermarket shelves today.

24/7 Wall St. consulted eight food review websites and blogs. Because tuna preference is highly subjective, we used an aggregate scoring system to track the reviews of each tuna brand. We also consulted customer reviews on retail sites to confirm our findings. Nine tuna brands landed at the top of our score sheet. They are listed from ninth to first place. (And if tuna on crackers is one of your favorites, here’s a look at eight cracker brands to try.)

The prices listed were accurate at the time of publication and may vary by store or location.

9. Sustainable Seas

Sustainable Seas tuna, no salt added
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Sustainable Seas only uses the pole and line fishing method to catch its tuna.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $3.99

Sustainable Seas Review

Sustainable Seas albacore tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Albacore is a popular tuna variety offered by Sustainable Seas.

Consumers can feel good about purchasing Sustainable Seas tuna. All the tuna processed by this company are caught by pole and line. This minimizes incidental catches of other species, but the few that are caught are utilized and not wasted. Long lines and nets, which can be harmful to dolphins, turtles, and other marine life, are never used.

One reviewer noted that the consistency of this canned tuna was a mixture of “large, meaty chunks of tuna with some small flakes.” The tuna is packed in water, meaning it features fewer calories than tuna packed in oil. Taste preferences vary between the two, though.

A customer noted that Sustainable Seas is a, “very tasty tuna without oil…The ingredients are all-natural. The smell is pleasant, not pungent. The use can be very diverse. You can add it to salads, you can cook fish soup, you can add it to a pie, or just eat it, add salt and olive oil to taste! I recommend it to everyone! Very tasty!”

8. Starkist

Starkist chunk white albacore tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Starkist is the most inexpensive tuna on our list.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $1.14

Starkist Review

Starkist tuna sign
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Nearly everyone recognizes Starkist’s mascot, Charlie the Tuna.

Starkist is the best-selling brand of canned tuna in the U.S. The company’s mascot, Charlie the Tuna, is instantly recognizable to millions of Americans. It is also the most affordable tuna on this list by far, at just over a buck per can.

While Starkist is certainly inexpensive, it doesn’t yield cheap results. One team of reviewers noted that Starkist did not have “an overwhelming smell” like some other brands. They also noted the tuna, “was delicate yet solid. It was as moist as they’d hoped for and had that deep, savory tuna flavor they craved.”

One customer agreed, saying, “This has always been my favorite tuna.”

Another remarked, “Starkist does not disappoint when it comes to flavor.”

7. Wild Planet

Wild Planet tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Wild Planet does not use nets or long lines to catch its tuna.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $4.12

Wild Planet Review

Wild Planet tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Wild Planet offers albacore and skipjack tuna.

Wild Planet is another pole and line-caught tuna. The company offers albacore and skipjack tuna. It is not packed in oil or water, which gives it a different texture than some other brands.

One reviewer noted that Wild Planet, “tasted more like freshly-cooked well-done tuna than a canned product.”

The can contains a solid piece of fish. One customer put it this way: “…take a can of this and place it next to a can of store-brand tuna and you’ll immediately notice a difference. This tuna will be a solid chunk of fish. The store-bought tuna with be a skirt of flakes in water.”

6. 365 by Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods bag
Source: Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA / Wikimedia Commons
Like many of its products, Whole Foods offers wonderful tuna.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $3.19

365 by Whole Foods Market Review

Whole Foods 365 logo
Source: Whole Foods Market / Wikimedia Commons
The tuna from 365 Whole Foods Market is the only “store brand” that scored high enough to land on this list.

Frequent shoppers of Whole Foods have come to expect high quality from the retailer’s products, and the canned tuna from 365 by Whole Foods Market lives up to that reputation.

One reviewer noted that this tuna tasted “pure” and featured “nearly fileted meat that didn’t appear as if it had been put through a janky food processor.”

A customer concurred with that assessment, saying, “When I opened it, I was mesmerized that it is not chunks, not pieces but one big solid beautiful piece of fish tightly packed in the can with very little water left.”

The tuna is also harvested using only a pole and line, so consumers can feel good about the ethics and sustainability represented by this product.

One final bonus…the canned tuna from 365 by Whole Foods Market has some of the lowest sodium among all the brands on this list. That is especially important for those who need to monitor their sodium intake. The “no salt added” albacore has 120 mg of sodium. The FDA recommends a maximum intake of less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day for adults.

5. Genova

Genova yellowfin tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Genova’s yellowfin tuna packed in olive oil is bursting with flavor.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $2.36

Genova Review

Fisherman holding yellowfin tuna
Source: Finleybailis / Wikimedia Commons
Yellowfin is a popular variety of tuna.

Genova offers a variety of tuna, including albacore and yellowfin. Consumers can also choose from tuna packed in water or olive oil.

One reviewer noted that the albacore, “featured big, pink flakes, and the water it was packed in was clear.” Other tuna varieties are packed in water that appears cloudy, which can be offputting to some folks.

That same reviewer noted the canned yellowfin boasted, “larger fillets with a darker pink hue.” It has a nice saltiness, without being overpowering.

The price is also lower than other brands, which may sway some budget-conscious consumers.

4. Tonnino

Tonnino tuna in olive oil
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Tonnino offers canned yellowfin tuna in olive oil.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $2.19

Tonnino Review

Tonnino tuna in glass jars
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Tonnino also offers tuna in glass jars.

Like Genova, Tonnino also offers yellowfin and albacore tuna. The tuna is packed in either olive oil or spring water.

The tuna is available in the standard five-ounce tinplate cans, but also in glass jars. Each can and jar features a code that you can use to trace the source of the tuna on Tonnino’s website.

One set of reviewers raved about the yellowfin packed in olive oil, saying, “The tuna melds well with the olive oil to create a savory, salty bite.”

Customers agree, with one saying, “Once I tried this tuna, I was hooked. I will never go back to other brands. The flavor is awesome!”

3. Natural Sea

Natural Sea tongol tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Natural Sea offers canned tongol tuna.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $4.19

Natural Sea Review

Natural Sea albacore tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Natural Sea also offers pole and line-caught albacore.

Natural Sea offers canned albacore, yellowfin, and tongol tuna varieties. Whichever you choose, you’ll likely note that this brand offers some of the freshest-tasting tuna on the market.

One reviewer noted, “When it comes to canned ingredients, fresh probably isn’t the first descriptor that comes to mind—until now. All of our testers described Natural Sea’s canned tuna as tasting fresh with a nice saltiness.”

One finicky customer remarked that they were thrilled with Natural Sea, saying, “Great tasting, solid white tuna. I’m pretty fussy about canned tuna but this is a repeat purchase which should tell you that I’m very satisfied with the quality of this tuna.”

2. Safe Catch

Safe Catch albacore tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
If you are concerned about the mercury levels in your tuna, Safe Catch is the brand for you.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $4

Safe Catch Review

Safe Catch ahi yellowfin tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Safe Catch offers ahi yellowfin tuna in addition to albacore.

For tuna lovers who are concerned about the mercury levels in their fish, Safe Catch is exactly what they’ve been looking for. Safe Catch tests every single fish for its mercury content. The company’s standard for acceptable mercury levels is much lower than those proposed by the Food & Drug Administration.

The tuna is not packed in oil or water, so it has a fishier taste than some other brands. However, if you enjoy a stronger-tasting tuna, you’ll likely find it to be a refreshing change from many of the blander options that populate supermarket shelves.

One customer raved about Safe Catch, saying, “I’m upset! I’ve wasted most of my life eating cat food quality tuna! I never realized that tuna this good was out there. This tastes so clean and delicious compared to [other brands].”

1. Sea Tales

Sea Tales skipjack tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
All Sea Tales tuna are caught using the pole and line fishing method.
  • Expected Price (5 oz can): $3.99

Sea Tales Review

Sea Tales albacore tuna
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Sea Tales offers numerous tuna varieties, including albacore packed in olive oil.

Sea Tales tuna is caught with a pole and line. This follows the company’s mission of maintaining sustainable fisheries that are managed by responsible local fishermen and fisherwomen. And the taste is as good, or even better than you might expect.

One team of reviewers noted this tuna’s “deep flavor” and “delectable” texture. They also remarked that this tuna is good enough to serve straight up at a dinner party.

One customer raved about the firm, meaty texture of the tuna, saying that when you open a can of Sea Tales, you won’t find the “moosh” that has come to be expected from some lesser brands.

The delicious flavor, lovely texture, and commitment to sustainability all landed Sea Tales at the top of our survey.

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