2011 new products winners retail category

For St. James Smokehouse, winning best new retail product at the 2011 International Boston Seafood Show’s Seafood Excellence Awards has proved invaluable.

Brendan Maher, owner and president of the Scotland-based company, told SeafoodSource recently that interest in St. James Smokehouse boomed after receiving the accolade, and it opened a lot of doors for the winning product, St. James Scotch Reserve Smoked Salmon infused with Hendricks Scottish Gin and Tonic.

“It definitely made a difference to retailers,” said Maher. “As soon as we won, U.S. retailers became more aware of who we are and the products we have. In addition, [it helped] when we were approaching retailers not just in the U.S. but also globally. When we highlighted the fact that we won the award, every single person we approached [said] ‘send us some samples.’”

“Historically, before that, you couldn’t guarantee 100 percent of retailers being interested in our product, so that was significant in terms of getting the endorsement. It’s an endorsement that seafood buyers and retail buyers take note of,” added Maher.

The idea was “whimsical,” according to Maher. The joke was that the winning product was ideal for people who don’t have time for an appetizer and a cocktail.

“The gin and the lemon and lime complement our flavor profile,” said Maher. “One of the judges came up and said it was the best product he’d ever tasted.”

The finalists for this year’s Seafood Excellence Awards are expected to be announced by Friday. Stay tuned to SeafoodSource for the announcement.

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