Seafood Excellence Award winners achieve national distribution

Published on
March 5, 2016

The Seafood Excellence Awards, held on Sunday, 6 March 2016 at Seafood Expo North America, will celebrate the best new seafood products in the North American seafood market.

Contestants compete in two categories: Best New Retail Product and Best New Foodservice Product. Then, seafood industry experts judge the new products based on several criteria, including: uniqueness and appropriateness to the market, taste profile, packaging, market potential, convenience, nutritional value and originality.

If you ask previous winners, the distinction of winning Seafood Excellence has a significant impact on distribution of new products. For example, the 2015 Seafood Excellence winners – Frontier Harvest Alaska Jack’s Wild Alaska Keta Salmon for Best Retail Product, and High Liner Foods’ BBQ Pulled Salmon for Best Foodservice Product – have gained traction in grocery stores and restaurants across the United States.

“We have been extremely pleased with the reception of the Frontier Harvest Alaskan Jack’s line of wild-caught seafood products, and have gained distribution across thousands of store locations nationally,” said Michael S. Klein, vice president of integrated services for Resource One, the sales management firm for Yihe Corp., which manufactures the Frontier Harvest Alaska Jack’s line.

Likewise, High Liner’s winning Pulled BBQ Salmon and its Fish n’ Chips on a Stick, which finished as a Seafood Excellence finalist, have received a lot of attention in the foodservice sector. “We were inundated with requests for tasting and product specifications, and were pleased with the amount of attention the new items received,” said Chris Mulder, senior vice president of Food Service Sales & Marketing for High Liner.

Mulder believes High Liner’s Pulled BBQ Salmon won because “not only is Pulled BBQ Salmon a healthier option for the consumer, but it’s also an on-trend, convenient and profitable product for the foodservice operator to menu.”

“With barbecue more popular than ever, High Liner Foods developed Pulled BBQ Salmon as a new twist on a popular favorite, which would stand out from all the other hot foodservice barbecue items,” Mulder added.

Meanwhile, Fish n’ Chips on a Stick is part of the company’s chef-inspired Street Style Seafood line. “It was introduced to break the mold on traditional appetizers, delivering unique, versatile and easy-to-menu products,” Mulder said. “A big trend in flavors today has been revamping the old to make it new. Fish n’ Chips on a Stick is a prime example of bringing tried and true flavors to new levels through innovative new ideas.”

Speaking of innovative, the Frontier Harvest Alaskan Jack’s brand of products was carefully conceived to strategically address existing shortfalls in the value-added frozen seafood category, according to Klein. “Foodservice trends were a big part of the direction to launch a brand with multiple flavor options. Recognition of parallels with meat/chicken proteins that reflected pre-seasoned items driving additional sales…was lacking in frozen seafood,” Klein said.

In addition, the flavorings in value-added seafood products were predominantly bland, according to Klein. “We wanted to develop uniquely bold flavors that created excitement, and drove the desire for repeat purchases across a variety of offerings.”

Like the 2015 winners, Seafood Expo North America expects this year’s Seafood Excellence Award winners to be innovators in their categories. We are excited to honor this year’s finalists as the show gets underway on 6 March.

Contributing Editor

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