By April Forristall, SeafoodSource.com assistant editor
Published on 12 April, 2012
Marine Harvest VAP Europe shouldn’t have been surprised to be named a finalist in this year’s Seafood Prix d’Elite new products competition. The company, the world’s largest salmon farmer, is no stranger to the competition, entering every year and often among the finalists. In 2007 and 2009, Marine Harvest took home a prize; its Seaforth line won the seafood product line category three years ago, while its Salmon Tartare won the health and nutrition category in 2007.
This year, Marine Harvest has two products among the 37 finalists — Sliced Salmon Roll and Fish Pizza, both of which are in the retail category. The Sliced Salmon Roll (pictured) is cooked and sliced — 62 percent Altantic salmon and smoked salmon. Fish Pizza is a boneless salmon steak topped with Emmental cheese, semi-dried tomatoes and herbs.
Just a few days before the European Seafood Exposition (the Seafood Prix d’Elite winners will be unveiled immediately after Day 1 of the three-day event on 24 April), SeafoodSource caught up with Kristof Werbrouck, Marine Harvest marketing manager, to talk about being a Seafood Prix d’Elite finalist again this year.
Forristall: How did Marine Harvest come up with Sliced Salmon Roll?
Werbrouck: There is no seafood-based sliced roll or sausage available in the European retail market. We saw that as untapped potential for deli counters in Europe.
How are consumer reacting to the product?
The launch is not scheduled yet, but the product is being validated by dominant European retail players, and with very positive consumer feedback.
In an independent consumer panel, checking for taste, texture and appearance, the product got a score of 7.2 on a scale of 10, which is very good.
When the product launches, what markets will be targeted?
When we do launch it, it will be mainly in the Benelux market, in fresh retail. Other segments and markets are interesting, but they need to be further evaluated.
Does being a Prix d’Elite finalist give the product more recognition?
Yes, but we need to be aware that the recognition is temporary. We are thriving to put innovative seafood products in the market on a permanent basis, which ultimately helps to increase the consumption of nutritious and healthy seafood.